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JOHN M. KELLY LIBRARY 




DONATED IN MfcrviurfV OF 
DR. GEORGE HEIMAN 



University of 
St. Michael's College, Toronto 





O 

*".. 



STUDIES IN 
THE PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 



STUDIES IN THE PROBLEM OF 
SOVEREIGNTY 



BY 
HAROLD J. LASKI 

Of the Department of History in Harvard University 
Sometime Exhibitioner of New Cottege, Oxford 




NEW HAVEN: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS 

LONDON: HUMPHREY MILFORD 

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

MDCCCCXVII 



COPYRIGHT, 1917 
BY YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS 



First published, March, 1917 



Your business as thinkers is to make 
plainer the way from something to the whole 
of things; to show the rational connection 
between your fact and the frame of the 
universe. 

Speeches of Mr. Justice Holmes. 



TO 
H. A. L. FISHER AND ERNEST BARKER 

FELLOWS OF NEW COLLEGE 
WITH AFFECTIONATE GRATITUDE 



PEEPACE 

This volume is the first of a series of studies in 
which I hope to discuss in various aspects the 
theory of the State. Its starting point is the belief 
that in such a theory, the problem of sovereignty 
is fundamental, and that only in the light of 
its conception can any satisfactory attitude be 
adopted. It is essentially a critical work, and it 
is only in the most tentative fashion that I have 
hinted at what seems to me the right avenue of 
approach. When I have finished similar studies in 
the political theory of the Catholic Keaction in 
France during the nineteenth century, and of the 
Conciliar Movement in the fifteenth, it may be that 
I shall be able to attempt a more constructive 
discussion. But it has not seemed to me entirely 
purposeless to point out the dangers of an attitude 
fraught with consequences so momentous to the 
character of our political institutions. 

How much it owes to Maitland and Saleilles 
and Dr. Figgis, I dare not estimate; but if it 
sends anyone to their books (and particularly 
to Maitland 's) I shall be well content. I owe 
much, too, to the work of my friend and colleague, 
Professor Mcllwain, from whose 'High Court of 
Parliament' I have derived a whole fund of 
valuable ideas. Nor have I, as I hope, failed to 
learn the lesson to be learned from the constitu- 



x PREFACE 



tional opinions with which Mr. Justice Holmes 
has enriched this generation. I would add that 
it was from Mr. Fisher that I first learned to 
understand the value of individuality, as it was 
from Mr. Barker that I first learned the meaning 
of community. 

I should like, too, to associate whatever there is 
of good in the thought of this book, with the name 
of my friend, Alec Rowan Herron, Scholar of New 
College and second-lieutenant in the King's Royal 
Rifles, who fell at Givenchy in the first year of war. 
What we have lost in him only those of us who 
had the rare privilege of his intimate friendship 
can tell ; but I may be permitted to say that it was 
the opinion of those with the right to judge that 
a very brilliant career lay before him. 

This book could never have been written were 
it not for the constant and splendid sympathy of 
my friend, Professor Frankfurter of the Harvard 
Law School. If I mention that, and the debt it 
of course owes to my wife, it is not in repayment, 
but in recognition. They, I know, will understand. 

I have to thank the editors of the American 
Political Science Review, the Canadian Law 
Times, the New Republic, and the Journal of 
Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 
for leave to use material already printed in their 
pages. 

H. J. L. 

September 28, 1916. 
Harvard University. 



CONTENTS 



Preface . 
Chapter I. 
Chapter II. 

Chapter III. 
Chapter IV. 

Chapter V. 
Appendix A. 
Appendix B. 
Index 



PAGE 

ix 



The Sovereignty of the State 

The Political Theory of the Dis- 
ruption .... 

The Political Theory of the Ox- 
ford Movement . 

The Political Theory of the Cath- 
olic Eevival .... 

De Maistre and Bismarck . 

Sovereignty and Federalism 

Sovereignty and Centralisation . 



27 
69 

121 
211 

267 
277 
289 



CHAPTER I 
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 1 

HEGELIANWISE, we can not avoid the 
temptation that bids us make our State a 
unity. It is to be all-absorptive. All groups 
within itself are to be but the ministrants to its 
life ; their reality is the outcome of its sovereignty, 
since without it they could have no existence. 
Their goodness is gained only through the over- 
shadowing power of its presence. It alone, so to 
speak, eternally is; while they exist but to the 
extent to which its being implies them. The 
All, America, includes, ' implicates' in James' 
phrase, its constituent states. They are one with 
it and of it one and indivisible. Each has its 
assigned place and function in the great Whole 
which gives them life. This is essential ; for other- 
wise we should have what Mr. Bradley calls 'a 
plurality of reals'; which is to destroy the predi- 
cated unity. 

Of the exaltation of such unity a long history 
could be written. To speak only of medieval 
times, it would have to tell of Dante with his 
maxime unum as the maxime bonum; nor dare we 

i Bead at the Fourth Conference on Legal and Social Philosophy, at 
Columbia University, November 27, 1915. 



PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 



repaint the picture lie drew of that world state 
which is one because its law is one and its spirit 
also. State must be, Gregory VII will tell us, ab- 
sorbed in Church; and so the eighth Boniface, 
perhaps with some lingering thought of Aquinas 
in his mind, will declare the heresy of dualism and 
straightway make claim to the lordship of the 
world. Binarius numerus infamis so it was 
Aquinas wrote; and so it is that your pope must 
have the plenitude potestatis and your emperor be 
legibus solutus. Thus will they embody all and 
transcend the shifting variety of an inconvenient 
multiplicity. 

Your medieval thinker deals in worlds ; with the 
Renaissance is born the national State. But only 
the perspective is altered. Still the problem is 
this monistic reduction. How to make of many 
one was surely the problem Henry VIII confronted 
when he declared the realm of England to be an 
empire ; for if it is capable of such promotion then 
is its king imperial, and he may work his will with 
recalcitrant chancellors who look vainly Home- 
wards. So, too, with the Stuart, He mistakes the 
popular basis of the Tudor throne, and thinks a 
sovereignty in practice theoretical also. It is his, 
he urges, by a right divine. Like another Richard 
II he feels that the laws are in his own breast; 
while non-juring Hickes will preach solemnly of 
the Stuart rectitude as he lays down the gospel of 
non-resistance. 

It seems far off ; yet in truth it is very near to us. 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 3 

It would be no inapt definition of politics in our 
time to term it the search for social unity. What- 
ever political problems we may consider upon this 
fundamental question, we shall always ultimately 
be driven back. How far, and in what way, is our 
society one? How far is there an interest of the 
Whole, a monistic interest, which transcends the 
interests of the Many who compose that whole? 
It is a fundamental question; therefore as the 
'Parmenides' bears witness it is amazingly 
subtle and difficult. We shall find, I think, that 
there is one best method of considering our prob- 
lem. Suppose that on the one hand we adopt the 
monist solution, what concrete difference will that 
make to our political life 1 ? If we are pluralists, 
how does that affect our activities? What, in 
short, are the consequences of our attitude 1 It is 
from them we may deduce its truth. 

And at the outset, let us note that we tend, in 
our political thinking, to adopt a sort of mystic 
monism as the true path of thought. We repre- 
sent a State as a vast series of concentric circles, 
each one enveloping the other, as we move from 
individual to family, from family to village, 
from village to city, to county, thence to the all- 
embracing State. We talk of England, Greece, 
Rome, as single personal forces, transcending the 
men and women who compose them. We person- 
alise, that is to say, the collective body. 'Rome,' 
writes Lord Bryce, 'sacrificed her domestic free- 
dom that she might become the mistress of others.' 



PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 



Here is a Rome beyond her citizens, a woman 
terrible in the asceticism of her supreme sacrifice. 
Clearly the reality of the State's personality is 
a compulsion we may not resist. But the habit is 
common to other things also. To the American, 
New York has a personality no less real than that 
of the Republic. To the shipowner, Lloyds is not 
the mere sum of its individual underwriters. When 
we take any group of people leading a common 
life, to whom some kindred purpose may be as- 
cribed, we seem to evolve from it a thing, a per- 
sonality, that is beyond the personalities of its 
constituent parts. For us that personality is real. 
Slowly its reality has compelled the law, when 
dealing with associations, to abandon the theory 
of fiction. A man who looks at the battlefield of 
Europe will assuredly not deny that certain per- 
sonalities, England, France, Germany, are real to 
the soldiers who die for them. A man who would 
remain cold to an appeal to stand by Englishmen 
waxes eloquent over the splendour of England; 
from all Englishmen he synthesises a thing greater 
than they. Think of the momentous consequences 
of such personalising and then ask if we dare 
attribute fiction to its nature. 'Our fellowship,' 
wrote Maitland, 'is no fiction, no symbol, no piece 
of the State's machinery, but a living organism 
and a real person, with body and members and will 
of its own.' If this be true, there are within the 
State enough of these monistic entities, club, trade- 
union, church, society, town, county, university, 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 5 

each with a group-life, a group-will, to enrich the 
imagination. Their significance assuredly we may 
not deny. 

Yet, so we are told, the State itself, the society 
of which they form part, is mysteriously One 
above them. 'Everywhere the One comes before 
the Many. All Manyness has its origin in Oneness 
and to Oneness it returns. Therefore all order 
consists in the subordination of Plurality to Unity, 
and never and nowhere can a purpose that is 
common to Many be effectual unless the One rules 
over the Many and directs the Many to the 
goal. . . . Unity is the root of all, and therefore 
of all social existence. ' Here is no mystic thought 
from the East, but a sober German jurist dealing 
with the essential political thought of the medieval 
world. Unity, it is clear, there finds laudation 
enough. And the State as the expression of that 
unity enjoys 3, similar benediction. It, too, must 
be one and indivisible. Trade-unionists and capi- 
talists alike must surrender the interests of their 
smaller and antithetic group-persons to the larger 
demands of that all-embracing One, the State. Of 
that One it is first that you are part; only in 
secondary fashion do you belong to church or class 
or race. In the One differences become har- 
monised, disappear. There are no rich or poor, 
Protestants or Catholics, Republicans or Demo- 
crats, but all are members of the State. The 
greatest of ideas takes all others to itself. 'All 



PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 



Manyness has its origin in Oneness, and to One- 
ness it returns.' 

So may be described the monistic theory of the 
State. It is a theory of which the importance may 
not be minimised in our time. That this view 
largely perhaps from its evident relation to the 
dominant philosophy of Hegel has triumphed 
not only in modern Germany, but also, in some 
lesser degree, in modern Europe, is the merest 
platitude in a world where Treitschke furnishes 
the theme of drawing-room conversation. A time 
of crisis unifies everywhere what before bore the 
appearance of severalty. The exclusive State 
makes an easy triumph. 2 

We have to admit, so your monist philosopher 
tells us, that all parts of the State are woven 
together to make one harmonious whole. What 
the Absolute is to metaphysics, that is the State 
to political theory. The unity is logically neces- 
sary, for were there independence, one group, as 
Lotze argued, could never act upon another. Were 
there independence there would be impenetrability. 
Yet nothing is so evident as the supreme fact of 
mutual influence. Pluralism, in an ultimate sense, 
is therefore impossible; for it would make unin- 
telligible any rational interpretation of society. 

Certain implications of this doctrine are worth 
noting before we attempt any criticism of it. If 
it be conceded that the analogy of State and 

2 On Bismarck and Hegel the reader can consult an admirable paper 
by Mr. William Clarke in the Contemporary Beview for January, 1899. 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 7 

Absolute be justified, clearly just as in meta- 
physics we can condemn the world as a whole, or 
praise it as a whole, so must the State be good or 
bad as a totality. It can not be good or bad in its 
separate parts. Pessimistic or optimistic, you may 
be in regard to it, but melioristic you have no right 
to feel so far as the State is concerned. For that 
which distinguishes your State must be implied 
in its parts, however various, is in its parts, could 
we but see it, and an evil part is evil, be it capitalist 
or labor agitator, only if the State as a totality 
is evil. We bridge over, in fact, the distinction 
between right and wrong, between good and bad. 
It is due only to the limitations of our finite 
political intelligence. It is not, so to speak, in the 
State-in-itself. It is only the appearance below 
which we must penetrate if we would grasp politi- 
cal reality. That is why Mr. Bradley can regard 
his Absolute for us the State as the richer for 
every disharmony; for that seeming pain is in 
truth but a minister to joy. 

And here clearly enough Sovereignty emerges. 
The State must triumph and has need of some 
organ whereby its end may be attained. If we 
anywhere preach a gospel of non-resistance it is 
here. We go to war. We must fight with the State 
whether or no we feel the justice of its cause. 
When in 1870 the Vatican Council defined papal 
infallibility Mr. Gladstone was quick to observe 
that Roman Catholic loyalty was endangered. Did 
not Sir Robert Peel oppose Catholic emancipation 



8 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

because that sect could not in his view unify its 
allegiance 1 ? Was not the Kulturkampf but the 
expression of Bismarck's conviction that your 
sovereign must be one and know no fellow ? When 
M. Combes aids in the separation of Church and 
State, on what other grounds does he base his 
attack than this, that only State-rights are real ? 
Corporations wormlike Hobbes called them 
cause but troublesome disease. Forthwith let them 
disappear that the sovereignty of the State may 
be unique. 

What for us is here of deepest significance is the 
claim that what the State wills has therefore moral 
pre-eminence. We pass, if I may be old-fashioned 
and use Rousseau's terms, from the Will of All to 
the General Will, and assume their identity. So 
that force gains a moral sanction because the 
TO ev tfiv is thereby to be achieved. What the 
State ordains begins to possess for you a special 
moral sanction superior in authority to the claim 
of group or individual. You must surrender your 
personality before its demands. You must fuse 
your will into its own. It is, may we not without 
paradox say, right whether it be right or wrong. 
It is lack of patriotism in a great war to venture 
criticism of it. It has the right, as in this sover- 
eign view it has the power, to bind your will into 
its own. They who act as its organ of government 
and enforce its will can alone interpret its needs. 
They dictate; for the parts there is no function 
save silent acquiescence. 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 9 

For practical politics there seems no moral 
Tightness in such an attitude as this. We have, 
in fact, to deem acts right and wrong. We do 
point to groups within the State, or parallel to it, 
and urge that they are really harmful and really 
beneficent. We judge them in reference to them- 
selves. We take what may be appearance as 
actually constituting reality. We credit, in short, 
human knowledge. We say that there is some- 
thing in appearance. If we can not credit it, 
assuredly there is nothing in which belief is at all 
possible. Its finite character we freely admit. 
We can not know all things. We have to be con- 
tent with a certain specialism, leaving omniscience 
to the Absolute. 

If, as I urge, we know not all things, but some 
things, if we know not America and Germany, but 
England and France, nothing of Julius Caesar, 
but much of Napoleon, then we claim the right to 
make judgments upon them. They stand by them- 
selves, can be known, that is to say, independently. 
I do not mean that Julius Caesar is not ultimately 
connected with Napoleon or that there is no rela- 
tion between England and America, but simply 
that there is no necessary relevance between them. 
Applying this to politics, I mean that we do not 
proceed from the State to the parts of the State 
on the ground that the State is more fundamentally 
unified than its parts, but we, on the contrary, 
admit that the parts are as real and as self- 
sufficient as the whole. I do not know England 



10 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

before I know, say, Berkeley Square and London ; 
from Berkeley Square and London I come to know 
England. But in James' phrase, 'everything 
you can think of, however vast or inclusive, has, 
on the pluralistic view, a genuinely " external' ' 
environment of some sort or amount. Things are 
"with" one another in many ways, but nothing 
includes everything or dominates everything. The 
word "and" trails along after every sentence. 
Something always escapes . . . the pluralistic 
world is thus more like a federal republic than an 
empire or a kingdom. However much may be 
collected, however much may report itself as 
present at any effective centre of consciousness 
something else is self -governed and absent and 
unreduced to unity.' 

We are urging that because a group or an indi- 
vidual is related to some other group or individual 
it is not thereby forced to enter into relations with 
every other part of the body politic. When a 
trade-union ejects one of its members for refusing 
to pay a political levy it is not thereby bringing 
itself into relations with the Mormon Church. A 
trade-union as such has no connection with the 
Mormon Church; it stands self-sufficient on its 
own legs. It may work with the State, but it need 
not do so of necessity. It may be in relations with 
the State, but it is one with it and not of it. The 
State, to use James' terms once more, is 'dis- 
tributive' and not 'collective.' There are no 
essential connections. 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 11 

We are not taking up the position that the 
State has no relations with these groups. We are 
simply denying, that the parts must be judged by 
the State, the individual German, let us say, by 
the conduct of Germany. We have not to judge 
of all things in their State-context. Such a rela- 
tion is a forced relation. It is charging to the 
account of your individual German things which 
are really accountable to Germany. We judge his 
conduct in life in reference to himself and not in 
reference to the State of which he is part. In the 
monistic theory of the State he derives his mean- 
ing from his relations; in the pluralistic theory, 
while his relations may be of the deepest signifi- 
cance, it is denied that they are the sole criterion 
by which a man ought to be judged. So in the 
pluralistic view of the State, there are, as James 
said of the pluralist world, 'real losses and real 
losers,' in the clashing of its parts; nor do these 
add mysteriously to the splendour of the whole. 

How, then, it will be asked, is the will of the 
State to be made manifest? If the State is but 
one of the groups to which the individual belongs, 
there is no thought of unity in his allegiance. The 
answer to that is the sufficiently simple answer 
that our allegiance is not as a fact unified. In the 
event of a great war, for example, as a member 
of the State you may be called upon to fight; as 
a member of another group, the Quakers, you may 
be called upon to resist that demand. It seems 
clear that little is gained by talk of 'over-riding 



12 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

demands, 7 of saying, for instance, that the demands 
of the State are all-important. They are all- 
important only to the State. The history of 
societies fatally contradicts the view that in a 
crisis only the State will have power of compulsion. 
What of certain miners in South Wales? What 
of certain Unionists in Ulster'? Of militant 
suffragists? Did not to them the wills of certain 
groups other than the State conflict with it and 
prove more intense in their demand? Such mar- 
ginal cases will in all probability be rare, but there 
is no sort of guarantee that they will not occur. 

Then, it will be protested, you will abolish what 
lawyers mean by sovereignty. You justify resist- 
ance to the State. You deny that each state must 
possess a legally determinate superior whose will 
is certain of acceptance. But it is surely evident 
that no such instrument does exist. We have 
nowhere the assurance that any rule of conduct 
can be enforced. For that rule will depend for its 
validity upon the opinion of the members of the 
State, and they belong to other groups to which 
such rule may be obnoxious. If, for example, 
Parliament chose to enact that no Englishman 
should be a Roman Catholic, it would certainly 
fail to carry the statute into effect. We have, 
therefore, to find the true meaning of sovereignty 
not in the coercive power possessed by its instru- 
ment, but in the fused good-will for which it 
stands. Men accept its dictates either because 
their own will finds part expression there or 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 13 

because, assuming the goodness of intention which 
lies behind it, they are content, usually, not to 
resist its imposition. But then law clearly is not 
a command. It is simply a rule of convenience. 
Its goodness consists in its consequences. It 
has to prove itself. It does not, therefore, seem 
wise to argue that Parliament, for example, is 
omnipotent in a special sense. The power Parlia- 
ment exerts is situate in it not by law, but by 
consent, and that consent is, as certain famous 
instances have shown, liable to suspension. An 
omnipotence that Cardinal Wiseman can over- 
throw in 1851, that J. H. Newman can smilingly 
dissolve in 1875, that constitutes in the Judicial 
Committee of the Privy Council a tribunal for 
ecclesiastical causes which clergymen of repute 
will regard as of no authority, and, therefore, 
neglect, seems to represent an abstraction of the 
facts. Where sovereignty prevails, where the 
State acts, it acts by the consent of men. 

What guarantee have we, then, in the pluralist 
view that the will of the State will prevail? It 
may seem that this view gives a handle to anarchy. 
It does not, I believe, give any more handle to 
anarchy than it at present possesses. If we 
become inductive-minded and make our principles 
grow out of the facts of social life we shall admit 
that the sanction for the will of the State is going 
to depend largely on the persons who interpret it. 
The monarchs of the ancien regime were legally 
the sovereign power in France, but their will was 



14 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

not the will of the State. It did not prevail 
because of the supreme unwisdom of the manner 
in which they chose to assume that their good was 
also the popular good. They confused what 
Eousseau would have called their * private good' 
with the 'common good' and Louis XVI paid the 
penalty on the scaffold. The will of the State 
obtains pre-eminence over the wills of other groups 
exactly to the point where it is interpreted with 
sufficient wisdom to obtain general acceptance, and 
no further. It is a will to some extent competing 
with other wills, and, Darwin-wise, surviving only 
by its ability to cope with its environment. Should 
it venture into dangerous places it pays the pen- 
alty of its audacity. It finds its sovereignty by 
consent transformed into impotence by disagree- 
ment. 

But, it may be objected, in such a view sover- 
eignty means no more than the ability to secure 
assent. I can only reply to the objection by admit- 
ting it. There is no sanction for law other than 
the consent of the human mind. It is sheer illusion 
to imagine that the authority of the State has any 
other safeguard than the wills of its members. 
For the State, as I have tried to show, is simply 
what Mr. Graham Wallas calls a will-organisation, 
and the essential feature of such a thing is its 
ultimate dependence upon the constituent wills 
from which the group will is made. To argue that 
the State is degraded by such reduction in nowise 
alters, so far as I can see, the fact that this is its 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE v 15 

essential nature. We have only to look at the 
realities of social existence to see quite clearly that 
the State does not enjoy any necessary pre- 
eminence for its demands. That must depend 
entirely upon the nature of the demand it makes. 
I shall find again and again that my allegiance is 
divided between the different groups to which I 
belong. It is the nature of the particular difficulty 
which decides my action. 

Nor is this view invalidated by the consideration 
that the purpose of the State is larger than that 
of any other conceivable group, does, in fact, com- 
prehend it. I am not at all certain that this is the 
case. A State may in theory exist to secure the 
highest life for its members. But when we come 
to the analysis of hard facts it becomes painfully 
apparent that the good actually maintained is that 
of a certain section, not the community as a whole. 
I should be prepared to argue, for instance, that 
in the England before the war the ideal of the 
trade-unions was a wider ideal than that which 
the State had attained, one is tempted to say, 
desired to attain. It is possible, again, to say of 
the Roman Catholic Church that its purpose is 
wider than that even of a conceivable world-state 
in the future; for the State concerns itself with 
the lives of men on earth, while the Roman Catho- 
lic Church concerns itself also with their future 
existence. And, moreover, it is not so much great- 
ness of purpose that seems important as the 
capacity to secure intensity of affection. This, as 



16 , PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

I argued earlier, is surely the explanation of the 
attitude of those who resist the State. The 
purpose of their organisation is not more vast, 
but it comes nearer home to what the individual 
immediately desires; so it has for him a greater 
momentary validity. He subordinates the will of 
the State to the will of his group because the latter 
accords with his desire or his conscience. I think 
that any one who reflects on the history of 
opposition to the State will find that this is, 
psychologically, the most fruitful source of its 
understanding. 

Now I admit quite freely that I have been dis- 
cussing a sovereignty far wider than that which 
lawyers are accustomed to recognise. When a 
distinguished jurist thinks that 'sovereign power 
is that which within its own sphere is absolute and 
uncontrolled,' and when another equally distin- 
guished legal thinker argues that law rests on 
sovereignty, I can only throw up my hands. For 
while, for example, in England, the sovereign 
power is Parliament, and, broadly speaking, only 
the rules laid down by it will be enforced by the 
courts, yet Parliamentary opinion, Parliamentary 
statute, are the result of a vast complex of forces 
towards which men and groups, within and 
without the State, make often enough valuable 
contributions. It seems to me that you can never 
find in a community any one will which is certain 
of obedience. That is why Korkunov is pro- 
foundly right when he urges that its phenomena 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 17 

can not be regarded as the manifestation of such 
unity. I can not too greatly emphasise the impor- 
tance of a phrase used by John Chipman Gray. 
'The real rulers of a society, 'he says in a striking 
sentence, 'are undiscoverable. ' But with the real 
rulers must go sovereignty; and if you can not 
find them it too must be beyond the reach of human 
insight. When you come to think of it, the sover- 
eignty of legal theory is far too simple to admit 
of acceptance. The sovereign is the person in the 
State who can get his will accepted, who so domi- 
nates over his fellows as to blend their wills with 
his. Clearly there is nothing absolute and un- 
qualified about it. It is a matter of degree and 
not of kind that the State should find for its 
decrees more usual acceptance than those of any 
other association. It is not because of the force 
that lies behind its will, but because men know that 
the group could not endure if every disagreement 
meant a secession, that they agree to accept its will 
as made manifest for the most part in its law. 
Here, at any rate, we clear the air of fictions. We 
do not bestow upon our State attributes it does not 
possess. We hold it entitled to ask from its 
members that which conduces to the achievement 
of its purpose not because it has the force to exact 
their consent, but because what it asks will in the 
event prove conducive to that end. Further than 
this we can not go. 

There are, in this view, things the State can not 
demand from its members. It could not, for 



18 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

instance, demand from one of them that he assas- 
sinate a perfectly blameless man ; for so to demand 
is to violate for both men the whole purpose for 
which the State exists. It would have, on the 
other hand, a clear right to ask from each member 
such contribution as he can afford to a system of 
national education, because the modern State has 
decided that the more educated are its members 
the more are they likely to fulfil its end. What 
I mean by 'right' is something the pragmatist will 
understand. It is something the individual ought 
to concede because experience has proved it to be 
good. So when the State demands from one of its 
members toleration for the religious belief of 
another as a right each should enjoy, it means that 
the consequences of toleration are more coincident 
with the end of the State than the consequences of 
religious persecution. Our rights are teleological. 
They have to prove themselves. That is why, I 
confess, one of the main comforts I derive from 
the study of Aristotle is the conviction that he 
attempted to delineate a pragmatist theory of the 
State. He gave to his rights the rich validation 
of experience; and surely a right that has no 
consequences is too empty to admit of worth. 

The view of the State I am endeavouring to 
depict may perhaps be best understood by refer- 
ence to a chemical analogy. The chemist draws 
a picture of his molecule it is a number of atoms 
grouped together by certain links of attraction 
each possesses for the other. And when a mole- 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 19 

cule of, say, hydrogen meets a molecule of oxygen 
something new results. What is there may be 
merely hydrogen plus oxygen ; but you must treat 
it as something different from either. So I would 
urge that you must place your individual at the 
centre of things. You must regard him as linked 
to a variety of associations to which his person- 
ality attracts him. You must on this view admit 
that the State is only one of the associations to 
which he happens to belong, and give it exactly 
that pre-eminence and no more to which on the 
particular occasion of conflict, its possibly superior 
moral claim will entitle it. In my view it does not 
attempt to take that pre-eminence by force ; it wins 
it by consent. It proves to its members by what 
it performs that it possesses a claim inherently 
greater than, say, their Church or trade-union. It 
is no dry a priori justification which compels their 
allegiance, but the solidity of its moral achieve- 
ment. So, I shall fight for England because I can 
genuinely accept the Tightness of its cause; not 
because when the call comes I must unheedingly 
and, therefore, unintelligently obey it. 

Surely, too, that State will be the stronger which 
thus binds to itself its members by the strength 
of a moral purpose validated. When, for example, 
your miners in South Wales go on strike, rather 
than attempt their compulsion by Munitions Acts 
to obey that for which they feel no sympathy, and 
thus produce that feeling of balked disposition of 
which Mr. Graham Wallas has written so wisely, 



20 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

you seek means of finding common ground between 
their group and yours, you will have done better. 
Is there not a tremendous danger in modern times 
that people will believe the legal sovereignty of a 
State to be identical with its moral sovereignty? 
Bight is a dangerous word for it is political no 
less than ethical, and in the hands of a skilful 
statesman the meaning may be insensibly fused. 
So it will be preached eventually that where a 
State, from this theoretic conception of Oneness, 
has a legal right, it has also a moral right which 
passes so easily into a moral obligation. Govern- 
ment, then, stands above the moral code applied 
to humbler individuals. It is almost unconsciously 
exalted into tyranny. It gains the power to crush 
out all that conflicts with its own will, no matter 
what the ethical implication of that will. I can 
then well understand why to an historian like 
Treitschke power can be the end of all things. For 
then power is moral and becomes more profoundly 
moral as it grows in extent. Is there the slightest 
historical justification for such a conclusion? 

The thing of which I feel afraid, if the State 
be admitted limitless power, Professor Dewey has 
expressed felicitously in a single phrase, 'It has 
been instructed [he is speaking of the German 
State] by a long line of philosophers that it is the 
business of ideal right to gather might to itself 
in order that it may cease to be merely ideal. ' Nor 
is what he urges true of Germany alone. When 
you hear in Great Britain of unamiable retired 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 21 

colonels on half -pay writing from the comfortable 
seclusion of a London club that the working-classes 
must be compelled to do certain things because the 
existence of the State is threatened, the voice may 
be the voice of an English colonel, but verily ! the 
spirit of a certain retired German cavalry officer 
creeps into that voice. The State may ask the 
workers for their aid; but the condition must 
assuredly be, that when it fights, their good, no 
less than its own, is bound up with victory. It 
seems to me, frankly, that when many of us use 
the term 'State' at the present time we are per- 
forming a mental operation of which the content 
is essentially different. The State is not the same 
thing, for instance, to the Kaiser and to Herr 
Karl Liebknecht. When the former asks for the 
support of Germans that the State may not perish, 
he has in mind a thing almost antithetic to what 
it means for Herr Liebknecht. Is anything gained 
by ignoring this difference, and urging that this 
State, so fundamentally different to both men, is 
to have for both an equally valid claim 1 ? Assur- 
edly, as the event proves, that can not be the case. 
I have tried to show that the monistic theory of 
the State, making it sovereign and, therefore, 
absolute, runs counter to some of the deepest 
convictions we can possess. I have urged that it 
will ask from us sacrifices it is against our con- 
sciences to give. It may of course be said that 
such a sacrifice has in it a discipline it is well for 
men to undergo. But when men begin, at the cost 



22 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

of suffering, to surrender their convictions with 
a monotonous regularity they will end by surren- 
dering them without a pang. May we not here 
apply that stinging aphorism of Coleridge 'He 
who loves Christianity better than truth, will love 
his sect or Church better than Christianity, and 
end by loving himself best of all' ? 

In the realm of philosophy, the last forty years 
have seen the consistent disruption of absolutisms. 
In the sphere of politics they are assuredly but 
the expression of what our rulers are fain to 
believe from half -instinctive desire. The history 
of recorded experience seems to show that this kind 
of dogma is the stumbling-block in the way of all 
progress. The State has sovereign rights; and 
those who manipulate it will too often cause it to 
be used for the protection of existing rights. The 
two get identified; the dead hand of effete ances- 
tralism falls with a resounding thud on the living 
hopes of to-day. I said earlier that such abso- 
lutism bridges over the distinction between right 
and wrong. Is it not clearly so ? Is it not claimed 
in Germany that an act is justified when State 
necessity compels it, and that without reference 
to the accepted criteria of moral action? In the 
South African War were there not statesmen who, 
because they condemned it, were adjudged morally 
degenerate? Is there not in the United States a 
tendency to approximate criticism of the consti- 
tution to original sin? Please observe that I am 
only asking questions. 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 23 

How ever are we to get any worth out of his- 
torical experience if such absolutism is to be held 
valid? Every state then becomes exalted above 
the moral law. Spain was right in its attack on 
the Netherlands, and the Netherlands wrong in 
resisting the attack. Great Britain was right 
absolutely in the American War of Independence. 
Truly there is point in Mr. Chesterton's remark 
that only logic drives men mad. 

Such difficulties as this the pluralistic theory of 
the State seems to me to remove. As a theory it 
is what Professor Dewey calls 'consistently experi- 
mentalist/ in form and content. It denies the 
Tightness of force. It dissolves what the facts 
themselves dissolve the inherent claim of the 
State to obedience. It insists that the State, like 
every other association, shall prove itself by what 
it achieves. It sets group competing against 
group in a ceaseless striving of progressive expan- 
sion. What it is and what it becomes it then is and 
becomes by virtue only of its moral programme. 
It denies that the pursuit of evil can be made good 
by the character of the performer. It makes 
claim of the member of the State that he under- 
take ceaseless examination of its moral founda- 
tions. It does not try to work out with tedious 
elaboration the respective spheres of State or 
group or individual. It leaves that to the test of 
the event. It predicates no certainty because his- 
tory, I think fortunately, does not repeat itself. 
It recognises the validity of all wills to exist, and 



24 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

argues no more than that in their conflict men 
should give their allegiance to that which is 
possessed of superior moral purpose. It is in fact 
an individualistic theory of the State no plural- 
istic attitude can avoid that. But it is individual- 
istic only in so far as it asks of man that he should 
be a social being. In the monist theory of the 
State there seems no guarantee that man will have 
any being at all. His personality, for him the 
most real of all things, is sacrificed to an idol which 
the merest knowledge of history would prove to 
have feet of clay. 

I am well enough aware that in any such volun- 
tarism as this room is left for a hint of anarchy. 
To discredit the State seems like enough to 
dethroning it. And when the voice of the State 
is viewed as the deliberate expression of public 
opinion it seems like the destruction of the one 
uniquely democratic basis we have thus far at- 
tained. But the objection, like the play queen in 
Hamlet, protests too much. It assumes the 
homogeneity of public opinion, and of that homo- 
geneity not even the most stout-hearted of us could 
adduce the proof. Nor is its absence defect. On 
the contrary, it seems to me that it is essentially 
a sign that real thought is present. A community 
that can not agree is already a community capable 
of advance. And if public opinion is not homo- 
geneous where and how is it constituted ? How will 
it prevail? I have already raised these questions. 
I have urged that the proof is not general, but 



SOVEREIGNTY OF THE STATE 25 

particular, lies in each special occasion as it arises. 
And that is to postulate a State far from uniquely 
sovereign, since on occasion it will not prevail as 
on occasion it may not be right. 

I imagine the absolute Hobbes, who has seen 
internal dissension tear a great kingdom in pieces, 
hold up hands of horror at such division of power. 
Maybe I who write in a time when the State enjoys 
its beatification can sympathise but too little with 
that prince of monistic thinkers. And the reason 
is simple enough. It is from the selection of 
variations, not from the preservation of uniformi- 
ties, that progress is born. We do not want to 
make our State a cattle-yard in which only the 
shepherd shall know one beast from another. 
Rather we may hope to bring from the souls of 
men and women their richest fruition. If they 
have intelligence we shall ask its application 
to our problems. If they have courage we shall 
ask the aid of its compelling will. We shall make 
the basis of our State consent to disagreement. 
Therein shall we ensure its deepest harmony. 3 

s On this whole subject see Mr. Barker 's paper in the Political 
Quarterly for February, 1915. 



CHAPTER II 

THE POLITICAL THEORY OP THE 
DISRUPTION 1 



political principles/ says a distinguished 
authority, 2 'whether they be those of order 
or of freedom, we must seek in religious, and quasi- 
theological writings for the highest and most 
notable expressions.' No one, in truth, will deny 
the accuracy of this claim for those ages before 
the Reformation transferred the centre of political 
importance from Church to State. What is too 
rarely appreciated is the modernism of those 
writings in all save form. Just as the medieval 
State had to fight hard for relief from ecclesiastical 
trammels, so does its modern exclusiveness throw 
the burden of a kindred struggle upon its erst- 
while rival. The Church, intelligibly enough, is 
compelled to seek the protection of its liberties 
lest it become no more than the religious depart- 

1 No adequate history of the secession of 1843 has yet been written. 
What exists is for the most part pietistic in form and content. Perhaps 
the least unsatisfactory work is that of E. Buchanan, The Ten Tears' 
Conflict, Edinburgh, 1850. The Eev. W. Hanna's Life of Chalmers, 
Vol. IV, will be found to contain much material of value, though 
naturally of a biassed and edifying kind. 

2 J. N. Figgis, From Gerson to Grotius, p. 6. 



28 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

ment of an otherwise secular organisation. The 
main problem, in fact, for the political theorist is 
still that which lies at the root of medieval con- 
flict. What is the definition of sovereignty ? Shall 
the nature and personality of those groups of 
which the State is so formidably one be regarded 
as in its gift to define? Can the State tolerate 
alongside itself churches which avow themselves 
societates perfectae, claiming exemption from its 
jurisdiction even when, as often enough, they 
traverse the field over which it ploughs? Is the 
State but one of many, or are those many but parts 
of itself, the One? 

There has been no final answer to these ques- 
tions; it is possible that there is no final answer. 
Yet the study of the problems they raise gives 
birth to certain thoughts which mould in vital 
fashion our theory of the State. They are old 
enough thoughts, have, indeed, not seldom been 
deemed dead and past praying for ; yet, so one may 
urge, they speak with living tongues. At certain 
great crises in the history of the nineteenth century 
they have thundered with all the proud vigour of 
youth. A student of modern ultramontanism will 
not fail to find its basis in the stirring phrases of 
an eleventh century Pope ; just as he will find set 
out the opposition to it in the stern words of a 
fifteenth century Chancellor of Paris University. 
Strikingly medieval, too, is the political theory no 
less of the Oxford Movement than of that Kultur- 
kampf which sent a German prince a second time 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 29 

to Canossa. And in a piece of Scottish eccle- 
siastical history the familiar tones may without 
difficulty be detected. 

II 

On the eighteenth of May, 1843, Dr. Welsh, the 
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Estab- 
lished Church of Scotland, took a course unique in 
the history of his office. He made no formal 
address. Instead, there came the announcement 
that as a protest against an illegal usurpation of 
the rights of the Church, and in order to maintain 
that freedom of action essential to the Assembly, 
two hundred and three of its members were com- 
pelled to sever their connexion with it. 3 With a 
large number of lay and clerical followers he then 
withdrew to a hall that had been prepared near by. 
Prayer was offered up ; the moderatorship of the 
seceding members was offered to, and accepted by, 
Dr. Chalmers; and the Assembly then proceeded 
to constitute itself the governing body of the Free 
Church of Scotland. 4 

To the adequate understanding of this striking 
event some brief survey of early Scottish eccle- 
siastical history from the time of Knox's invasion 
is necessary. Recognised as the State Church in 
1567, 5 from the first a conflict of authority arose. 
The first General Assembly had approved the 

Buchanan, II, 594. 
* Buchanan, II, 607. 

5 Calderwood, II, 388-389. Innes, Law of Creeds in Scotland, p. 14. 
I can not too fully acknowledge my debt to this admirable book. 



30 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Book of Discipline of the Church, but the Council 
from the outset was unwilling to sanction it. 6 As 
a result, the General Assembly proceeded to act 
as though this approval, having reference to an 
ecclesiastical matter, was unnecessary. The Book 
was made an essential part of the Church's doc- 
trinal constitution ; and from the first the concep- 
tion of a societas perfecta was of decisive 
importance. 7 On the threshold, therefore, of 
ecclesiastical history in Reformation Scotland a 
problem arises. For while the State never ac- 
corded the desired recognition, it is at least equally 
clear that the Church was in nowise dismayed by 
that refusal. Jurisdiction, indeed, was awarded 
to it by the State in the same year ; 8 but in terms 
ominous of future discord. To l declaration' no 
objection could be raised; but the insertion of a 
power to * grant' clearly cut away the ground from 
under the feet of Knox's contention that the power 
of jurisdiction was inherent without parliamentary 
enactment. 9 Yet, in a sense, the Church's desire 
for the recognition of its complete spiritual 
powers may be said to have received its fulfilment 
in 1592, when it was declared that an Act of 
Supremacy over Estates Spiritual and Temporal 10 
* shall nowise be prejudical nor derogate anything 

Innes, op. cit., p. 20. 

* As is apparent in Melville 'a famous sermon before James I. Cf . 
Innes, p. 21. 

Acts of Parliament of Scotland, III, 24. 

9 Knox, History of Reformation, p. 257, and cf . McCrie 's History of 
the Scottish Church, p. 44. 

101584, c. 129. The so-called 'Black Acts,' Calderwood, IV, 62-73. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 31 

to the privilege that God has given to the spiritual 
office-bearers in the kirk, concerning the heads of 
religion ... or any such like essential censures 
specially grounded and having warrant of the 
word of God. m Here, at any rate, was the clear 
admission that in the ecclesiastical sphere the 
Church possessed powers no less than divine; 
and it may not unjustly be assumed that when 
the State affixed civil punishment to eccle- 
siastical censure, it stamped those powers with 
its approval. 12 

What pain the Church had to endure in the 
next century of its history it lies outside our 
province to discuss; for our purpose its relation 
to the Revolution Settlement is the next halting 
place. An Act of 1669 had asserted the royal 
supremacy over the Church ; 13 this was rescinded, 14 
and another statute, passed simultaneously, 
adopted the Westminster Confession as part of 
the law. 15 At the same time the abuse of lay 
patronage complained of from the outset was 
abolished, and the right of ministerial appoint- 
ment was practically vested in the full congre- 
gation. 18 

Clearly, there was much of gain in this settle- 

11 1592, c. 116. Acts Par. Scot., Ill, 541. Calderwood, V, 162. 

12 1593, e. 164. 

is Acts Par. Scot., VII, 554. 

"1690, c. 1. 

is 1690, c. 5. 

i McCrie, op. cit., p. 418. 



32 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

ment, though about its nature there has been 
strenuous debate. To Lord President Hope, for 
instance, the Act of 1690 was the imposition of 
doctrine on the Church by the State, and so the 
recognition of the latter 's supremacy. 17 But it is 
surely clear that what actually was done was to 
recognise the Church practice without any dis- 
cussion of the difficult principles involved; 18 and 
even that silent negligence did not pass uncriticised 
by the General Assembly. 19 Yet, whatever the 
attitude of the State, it is certain that the Church 
did not conceive itself either by this Act, or in the 
four years' struggle over subscription to its 
formularies, to have surrendered any part of its 
independence. 20 

The next great epoch in the history of the 
Scottish Church was, naturally, its connexion with 
the Act of Union in 1707. So securely was it 
deemed to be settled that the Commissioners ap- 
pointed in 1705 to treat with the English Parlia- 
ment were expressly excluded from dealing with 
the Scottish Church ; 21 and the Act of Security was 
deemed fundamental to the Union. The Act 
pledged the Crown to the maintenance of the Acts 

17 See his judgment in the Auchterarder case. Eobertson 's Eeport, 
II, 13. 

is This is well brought out by Mr. Innes, op. cit., p. 45. 
iInnes, p. 46. 

20 Buchanan, I, 136. Of. Hetherington 's Hist, of Ch. of Scotland, 
p. 555; and for some strenuous criticism of William's attitude, Mr. 
McCormick's Life of Car stares, pp. 43-44. 

21 McCrie, op. cit., 440. 



POLITICAL THEORT OF DISRUPTION 33 

of 1690 and 1693 in terms as solemn as well may 
be ; 22 and it may reasonably be argued that Parlia- 
ment conceived itself as then laying down some- 
thing very like a fundamental and irrevocable 
law. 23 These may, indeed, have been no more than 
the recognition of a specially solemn occasion, for 
it is certainly difficult otherwise to understand 
why in 1712 Parliament should have restored that 
lay patronage which the Act of 1690 abolished. 24 
The measure was carried through with indecent 
haste by the Jacobite party, and a spirit of revenge 
seems to have been its chief motive. 25 From this 
time until almost the close of the eighteenth cen- 
tury the General Assembly protested against the 
measure; but Parliament could not be moved. 26 

That such a course was a violation of the Act 
of Security is, of course, evident without argu- 
ment; but the chief significance of the repeal lay 
rather in the future than in the past. l The British 
legislature,' Macaulay told the House of Com- 
mons, 27 ' violated the Articles of Union and made 
a change in the constitution of the Church of 
Scotland. From that change has flowed almost all 
the dissent now existing in Scotland. . . . year 
after year the General Assembly protested against 

22 Mathieson, Scotland and the Union, p. 183. Innes, op. cit., p. 58. 

23 See Sir H. W. Moncrieff, Churches and Creeds, p. 19. 

24 10 Anne, c. 12. 

25Woodrow's Correspon., I, 77, 84. Carstares' State Papers, 82. 
Burnet, VI, 106-107. 

28 Innes, op. cit., p. 60. 
2T Speeches, II, 180. 



34 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

the violation, but in vain; and from the Act of 
1712 undoubtedly flowed every secession and 
schism that has taken place in the Church of 
Scotland.' This is not the exaggeration of rhet- 
oric, but the moderation of sober truth. For what 
the Act of 1712 did, in the eyes at least of the 
Church, was essentially to deal with a right funda- 
mentally ecclesiastical in its nature, and so to 
invade the Church's own province. It became 
clear to the leaders of the Church that so to be 
controlled was in fact to sacrifice the Divine 
Supremacy to which they laid claim. Christ 
could no longer be the Supreme Head of the 
Presbyterian Church of Scotland if that Church 
allowed lay authority to contravene His commands. 
So that when it came, as they deemed, to a choice 
between His Headship and freedom on the one 
hand, and endowment and State control on the 
other, they could not hesitate in their duty. 

Ill 

The Disruption takes its immediate rise in an 
Act of the General Assembly in 1834. 28 There had 
long been signs in the Church of a deep dissatis- 
faction with the Establishment. It meant, so, at 
least, the voluntarists urged, enslavement to the 
civil power; and to the answer that the Church 
had spiritual freedom, the existence of civil 

28 Buchanan, I, 280 ff. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 35 

patronage was everywhere deemed a sufficient 
response. 29 If voluntaryism was to be combated, 
some measures against intrusion must be taken; 
and it was upon the motion of Lord Moncrieff, 
himself a distinguished lawyer, that it was de- 
clared, 'a fundamental law of the Church that no 
pastor shall be intruded on any congregation 
contrary to the will of the people.' 80 Patronage, 
in fact, was not abolished; but, clearly, the need 
for congregational approval deprived it of its 
sting. It is important to note that not even among 
the opposition to the measure was any sort of 
objection urged against the competency of the 
General Assembly to enact it. 81 

The challenge, however, was not long coming. 
Within six months of the decision of the General 
Assembly, a vacancy occurred in the parish of 
Auchterarder in Perthshire. Lord Kinnoull, the 
patron, made his presentation to a Mr. Robert 
Young, and the congregation promptly rejected 
Trim by an overwhelming majority. 82 The Pres- 
bytery then took steps to carry out the Veto Law. 38 

Lord Kinnoull was not long in deciding to 
contest his rights in the Courts. Into the history 
of the struggle it is unnecessary to go in any 
detail ; the merest outline of its history must here 

29 Ibid., I, 282. 

so Ibid., I, 293. The motion was carried by 184 votes to 138. Hid., 
p. 307. 

si Ibid., I, p. 325. 
32 Buchanan, I, 399. 
S3 ibid., I, 408. 



36 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

suffice. 3 * The Court of Session refused to accept 
the defence of the Presbytery that the rejection 
of a presentee for unfitness concerned only the 
ecclesiastical authorities, and laid it down that the 
Church was dependent upon the State. 35 To this 
the General Assembly replied almost immediately 
in a resolution which bound the Church 'to assert, 
and, at all hazards, to defend* not only the freedom 
of the Church from outside interference but also 
its determination to exact obedience to the Veto 
Law. 36 The consequence of this defiance was 
the Strathbogie cases. A Presbytery, following 
the decision of the Court of Session, neglected 
the Veto Act of 1834 and was suspended by the 
General Assembly. 37 The Court of Session at once 
protected it, 38 and ordained that the vetoed minister 
should be received. 39 The Presbytery of Auchter- 
arder was condemned in damages to Lord Kin- 
noull and Mr. Robert Young; 40 a minority of the 
Presbytery opposed to the Veto Act was declared 
to be capable of acting as the Presbytery proper 
and the majority was inhibited from any interfer- 
ence." The rejected presentee was forced upon 

s* The reader will find full details in Buchanan and the cases noted 
below. 

35 The First Auchterarder case. Bobertson 's report. 

3 Buchanan, II, 479. 

87 ma,, II, 284. 

38 1840, 2 Dunlop, p. 585. 

so 1840, 3 Dunlop, p. 282. 

40 1841, 3 Dunlop, p. 778. This is the second Auchterarder case. 

*i 1843, 5 Dunlop, p. JOJO. This is the third Auchterarder case. I 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 37 

the Presbytery; 42 and the condemnation of the 
Presbytery by the General Assembly for disregard 
of the Veto Act was put on one side. 43 Truly the 
outcome of Knox's nationalism had been different 
from the conception of its founder. 44 

Attempted interference by statesmen proved of 
no avail. Upon so fundamental a problem the 
Church could not compromise, since it was her 
independence as a society that was at stake. 
Parliament would not surrender the position taken 
up by the Court of Session and the House of Lords. 
'No government would recommend/ Mr. Bruce 
told the House of Commons, 45 'and no Parliament 
would ever sanction the pretensions of the Church 
of Scotland, because if those claims were granted, 
they would establish a spiritual tyranny worse and 
more intolerable than that of the Church of Rome 
from which they had been delivered/ If it was 
less outspoken, the government, in the persons of 
Sir James Graham and Sir Robert Peel, was 
equally emphatic. 46 The Assembly took the only 
step that lay in its power. It presented a formal 
Claim of Right in 1842 47 which set out the theory 
of its position. This refused, the adherents to that 

have not discussed the judgments of Brougham and (Tottenham L. C. in 
the Lords, as they add nothing to the Scottish opinions. 

42 1840, 3, D. 283. 

1843, 5 Dunlop, p. 909. 

44 Buchanan, II, 194. 

45 Hansard, 3d Series, Vol. LXVII, p. 442, March 8, 1843. 

46 Hansard, 3d Series, Vol. LXVII, pp. 382, 502. See also below. 

47 Buchanan, II, 633. 



38 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Claim presented their Protest 48 in the following 
year, and withdrew from the Assembly to form the 
Free Church of Scotland. 



IV 

The party of which Dr. Chalmers was the dis- 
tinguished leader had, whatever its deficiences, the 
merit of maintaining a consistent and logical 
position. The Church to them was a society itself 
no less perfect in form and constitution than that 
of the State. To the latter, indeed, they acknowl- 
edged deference in civil matters, 'a submission,' 
Chalmers himself said, which was 'unexcepted and 
entire.' 49 That to which they took so grave an 
objection was the claim laid down by the authori- 
ties of the State, to an absolute jurisdiction over 
every department of civilised life. They admitted, 
in brief, her sovereignty over her own e domain; it 
was when she entered a field they held to be with- 
out her control that the challenge was flung down. 
'The free jurisdiction of the Church in things 
spiritual, the Headship of Christ, the authority of 
His Bible as the great statute book not to be 
lorded over by any authority on earth, a deference 
to our own standards in all that is ecclesiastical . . . 
these are our principles. ' 50 To them, therefore, the 
hand which was laid upon the Church was an un- 

48 Innes, Appendix K. 

49 Life of Chalmers, Vol. IV, p. 199. 
so Life of Chalmers, loc. cit. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 39 

hallowed hand; for when it thus struck at the 
foundation of her life it insulted the word of God. 
The position of the Free Church is not different 
from that advocated by all who have accepted the 
principles of the Presbyterian system. It is a 
State of which the sovereignty is vested in the 
General Assembly. It acknowledges no superior 
in the field with which it deals. That sovereignty 
is sanctioned by a right which even in high pre- 
rogative times would have seemed to its adherents 
a thousand times more sacred than its kingly 
analogue. 51 The sovereignty of the State over its 
own concerns is not denied; but its universality 
would never have been admitted. The distinction 
between the societies must be maintained, other- 
wise the grossest absurdities would follow. 52 So 
Chalmers can make his striking claim. 'In things 
ecclesiastical,' he told a London audience in 1838, 58 
'we decide all. Some of these things may be done 
wrong, but still they are our majorities which do 
it. They are not, they can not, be forced upon us 
from without. We own no head of the Church 
but the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever is done 
ecclesiastically is done by our ministers as acting 
in his name and in perfect submission to his 
authority . . . even the law of patronage, right or 
wrong, is in force not by the power of the State, 
but by the permission of the Church, and, with all 

si Of. Figgis, Divine Eight of Kings, ed. 2, p. 267. 
52 Jus Divinum, p. 42, quoted in Figgis, op. cit., p. 275. 
63 Life of Chalmers, Vol. IV, p. 54. Mr. Gladstone was present at 
and deeply impressed by these lectures. Morley (Pop. ed.), I, 127. 



40 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

its fancied omnipotence, has no other basis than 
that of our majorities to rest upon. It should 
never be forgotten that in things ecclesiastical, the 
highest power of our Church is amenable to no 
higher power on earth for its decisions. It can 
exclude ; it can deprive ; it can depose at pleasure. 
External force might make an obnoxious individual 
the holder of a benefice ; it could never make him 
a minister of the Church of Scotland. There is not 
one thing which the State can do to our independent 
and indestructible Church but strip her of her 
temporalities. Nee tamen consumebatur she 
would remain a Church notwithstanding, as strong 
as ever in the props of her own moral and inherent 
greatness; and although shrivelled in all her 
dimensions by the moral injury inflicted on many 
thousands of her families, she would be at least as 
strong as ever in the reverence of her country's 
population. She was as much a Church in her days 
of suffering, as in her days of outward security 
and triumph; when a wandering outcast with 
naught but the mountain breezes to play around 
her, and naught but the caves of the earth to shelter 
her, as when now admitted to the bowers of an 
Establishment. The magistrate might withdraw 
his protection and she cease to be an establishment 
any longer; but in all the high matters of sacred 
and spiritual jurisdiction she would be the same as 
before. With or without an establishment, she in 
these is the unfettered mistress of her doings. The 
king by himself or by his representative might be 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 41 

the spectator of our proceedings; but what Lord 
Chatham said of the poor man's house is true in 
all its parts of the Church to which I have the 
honour to belong; "in England every man's house 
is his castle ; not that it is surrounded with walls 
and battlements; it may be a straw-built shed; 
every wind of heaven may whistle round it ; every 
element of heaven may enter it ; but the king can 
not the king dare not." 

A more thoroughgoing rejection of the royal 
supremacy on the one hand, and the legal theory 
of parliamentary sovereignty on the other, could 
hardly be desired. It is clear that an invasion of 
the Church's rights is not contemplated as possible. 
The provinces of State and Church are so different 
that Parliament could only interfere if the rights 
it touched originated with itself. Such a general 
theory of origin the adherents of Presbyterianism 
strenuously repudiated. 'Our right,' Professor 
McGill told the General Assembly of 1826, 54 'flows 
not from Acts of Parliament. ... I maintain the 
powers and rights of the Church of Scotland . . . 
to determine the qualifications of its members; 
that their right in this matter did not originate 
with Parliament; that Parliament left this right 
untouched and entire to the courts of this Church 
nay, that of this right it is not in the power of 
Parliament to deprive them. . . . The religion of 
Scotland was previously embraced by the people 
on the authority of the word of God, before it was 

5* Quoted in Moncrieff, The Free Church Principle (1883), p. 35. 



42 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

sanctioned by Parliament. ' It is obvious that the 
relation of State to Church is, in this view, that 
of one power to another. Nor did Professor 
McGill stand alone in his opinion. When, in 1834, 
Lord Moncrieff: considered the competency of the 
General Assembly to enact the Veto Law, he 
expressly repudiated the contention that any part 
of the ecclesiastical constitution except its estab- 
lishment was derived from the civil power. 55 The 
establishment, indeed, they regarded as no more 
than a fortunate accident. 56 They were even accus- 
tomed to point to the distinction between their own 
position, and that of the Church of England. 
'The Scottish Establishment,' said Chalmers in 
1830, 57 'has one great advantage over that of 
England. It acknowledges no temporal head, and 
admits of no civil or parliamentary interference 
with its doctrine and discipline. The State helps 
to support it, but has nothing to do with its 
ministrations.' Nor did he shrink from the 
obvious conclusion to such a situation. ' They may 
call it an imperium in imperio,' he said, thirteen 
years later, 58 'they may say that we intrude upon 
the legitimate power of the civil courts or the civil 
law. It is no more an intrusion on the civil law 
than Christianity is an intrusion on the world.' 
He resented the suggestion that the Church was 

65 See Moncrieff, The Free Church, p. 37. 
06 Buchanan, I, 367. 
57 Life. Ill, 270. 

68 March 16, 1843. Moncrieff, op. tit., p. 111. The remark is all the 
more significant since it is made on the eve of the Disruption. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 43 

dependent on the State. 'We are not,' lie told the 
General Assembly of 1842, 59 'eating the bread of 
the State. When the State took us into connexion 
with itself, which it did at the time of the Union, 
it found us eating our own bread, and they 
solemnly pledged themselves to the guarantees, or 
the conditions, on which we should be permitted 
to eat their bread in all time coming.' To the 
Church, clearly, the Act of Security was the 
conclusion of an alliance into which Church and 
State entered upon equal terms. It was an 
alliance, as Lord Balfour of Burleigh pointed 
out, 60 'with the State as a State in its corporate 
capacity,' the union for certain purposes of one 
body with another. But it certainly was not con- 
ceived by the Church that its acceptance of an 
Establishment was the recognition of civil su- 
premacy. Otherwise, assuredly, it could not have 
been argued, as in the resolution of the General 
Assembly of 1838, 61 that 'her judicatories possess 
an exclusive jurisdiction founded on the word of 
God,' which power ecclesiastical 'flows imme- 
diately from God and the Mediator Jesus Christ.' 
Such, in essence, is the basis, as well of the 
Claim of Right in 1842, as of the final Protest in 
the following year. The one is a statement of the 
minimum the Church can accept ; the other is the 
explanation of how acceptance of that 



59 Moncrieff, op. cit., p. 102. 

o Hansard, 5th Series, Vol. XIII, February 12, 1913, p. 119. 

si Innes, op. cit., p. 73. 



44 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

has been denied. In ecclesiastical matters, the 
function of the civil courts was neither to adjudi- 
cate nor to enquire, but to assist and protect the 
liberties guaranteed to the Church. 62 The mainte- 
nance of those liberties is essential to its existence, 
since without them, it cannot remain a true 
Church. Were it to admit any greater power in 
the civil courts, it would be virtually admitting 
the supremacy of the sovereign ; but this is impos- 
sible since only Jesus Christ can be its head. Not 
only, so the Claim holds, can the admission not be 
made, but the State itself has admitted the right- 
ness of the Church's argument. 63 Already in 1842 
the Claim foreshadows the willingness of the 
Church to suffer loss of her temporalities rather 
than admit the legality of the Courts' aggression. 64 
The protest of the following year does no more 
than draw the obvious conclusion from this claim. 
An inherent superiority of the civil courts, an 
inhibition of the ordinances of the General 
Assembly, the suspension or reduction of its cen- 
sures, the determination of its membership, the 
supersession of a Presbyterian majority, all of 
these decisions of the Court of Session, ' incon- 
sistent with the freedom essential to the right 
constitution of a Church of Christ, and incom- 
patible with the government which He, as the 

62 Buchanan, II, 633. 

fl s Buchanan, II, 634, ' the above-mentioned essential doctrine and 
fundamental principle . . . have been by diverse and repeated Acts of 
Parliament, recognised, ratified and confirmed.' 

4 Buchanan, II, 647. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 45 

Head of his Church, hath therein appointed dis- 
tinct from the civil magistrate/ 65 must be repu- 
diated. So that rightly to maintain their faith, 
they must withdraw from a corrupted Church that 
they may reject l interference with conscience, the 
dishonour done to Christ's crown, and the rejec- 
tion of his sole and supreme authority as king in 
his Church. w 

It is worthy of remark that this is the position 
taken up by counsel for the Church in the Auchter- 
arder case. 'If the Call be shown to be a part of 
the law of the Church/ Mr. Rutherford argued 
before the Court of Session, 67 it is necessarily a 
part of the law of the land, because the law of the 
Church is recognised by the State : and if the Veto 
Act, in regulating that call, has not exceeded the 
limits within which the legislature of the Church 
is circumscribed, it is impossible, in a civil court, 
to deny the lawfulness of its enactments.' From 
the standpoint of the Church it is clear that this 
is theoretically unassailable. If the Church has 
the right to regulate her own concerns, she must 
have the right to regulate appointment of minis- 
ters. If, as a Rutherford of two centuries earlier 
argued, 68 'the Church be a perfect, visible society, 
house, city and kingdom, Jesus Christ in esse et 
o per art; then the Magistrate, when he cometh to 
be Christian, to help and nourish the Church, as 

65 Hid., II, 649. 

Buchanan, Joe. cit., 650. 

T Eobertson 's Eeport, I, 356. 

88 Quoted in Figgis, Divine Bight of Kings, p. 278. 



46 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

a father he can not take away and pull the keys 
out of the hands of the stewards.' The State 
admitted her law to be its law in the Act of 
Security. The only question, therefore, that called 
for decision was the problem of whether the 
principle of non-intrusion was ecclesiastical or 
not. If it was, then clearly it was not ultra vires 
the General Assembly, and, unless the Act of 
Security were to be rendered nugatory, the civil 
court must uphold the Church's plea. In that 
event, to remedy the wrongs of the Church does 
not lie with the civil court. 'The question is,' so 
Mr. Rutherford urged, 69 t whether an abuse by the 
Church of her legislative powers will justify the 
interposition of this court. It has been main- 
tained on the other side that it will in all cases. 
I maintain the reverse of the proposition, that 
however competent it may be for the State, by the 
power of the legislature, to withdraw their recog- 
nition of a jurisdiction which is no longer exercised 
so as to warrant the continuance of the confidence 
originally imposed, it is not within your province. ' 
'In matters ecclesiastical,' he said again, 70 'even if 
the Church acts unjustly, illegally, ultra vires, 
still the remedy does not lie with this court nor 
can your lordships give redress by controlling the 
exercise of ecclesiastical functions when in the 
course of completing the pastoral relation.' Mr. 
Bell, the junior counsel, even went as far as to 

e Kobertson, I, 382. 
TO Loc. tit., I, 383. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 47 

urge the Court not to hazard its dignity 'by 
pronouncing a judgment you can not enforce.' 71 

It is to be observed that the Presbyterian theory 
is not the assertion of a unique supremacy. It did 
not claim a sovereignty superior to that of the 
State. Rather, indeed, did they take especial care 
to explain the precise limitations of their demand. 
'He was ready to admit,' Sir George Clerk told the 
House of Commons in 1842, 72 'the Church of Scot- 
land is ready to admit, that in all civil matters 
connected with that Church, the legislature had a 
right to interfere. The Church of Scotland did 
not refuse to render unto Caesar the things that 
were Caesar's, but it would not allow of an inter- 
ference with its spiritual and ecclesiastical rights. ' 
Mr. Buchanan, the historian of the Disruption, 
and one of its leading figures, explained at length 
the difference between the two organisations. 'It 
is,' he wrote of the Church, 73 'no rival power to 
that of the State its field is conscience; that of 
the State is person and property. The one deals 
with spiritual, the other with temporal things, and 
there is therefore not only no need, but no possi- 
bility of collision between the two, unless the one 
intrude into the other's domain.' Mr. Fox Maule, 
who was the authorised spokesman of the General 
Assembly in Parliament, 74 went so far as to say 
that even a claim to mark out the boundaries 

TI Loc. tit., I, 124. 

72 Hansard, 3d Series, Vol. XXXV, pp. 575-581. 

73 Buchanan, II, 25. 

74 Ibid., II, 572. 



48 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

between the civil and the ecclesiastical provinces 
he would repudiate * because it was fraught with 
danger to the religious as well as the civil liberties 
of the country.' 75 'He was aware,' he remarked, 7 * 
'that it was difficult at all times to reconcile con- 
flicting jurisdictions; but for one he would never 
admit that when two Courts, equal by law and by 
the constitution, independent of each other, came 
into conflict upon matters however trifling or how- 
ever important, so that one assumed to itself the 
right to say that the other was wrong, there was 
no means of settling the dispute. As he read the 
constitution, it became Parliament, which was the 
supreme power, to interfere and decide between 
them.' 77 The separation of the two powers is, 
finally, distinctly set forth by the Claim of Eight 
in 1842. 'And whereas/ it states, 78 'this juris- 
diction and government, since it regards only 
spiritual condition, rights and privileges, doth not 
interfere with the jurisdiction of secular tribunals, 
whose determinations as to all temporalities con- 
ferred by the State upon the Church, and as to all 
civil consequences attached by law to the decisions 
of Church Courts in matters spiritual, this Church 
hath ever admitted, and doth admit, to be exclusive 
and ultimate as she hath ever given and inculcated 

75 Hansard, 3d Series, Vol. LXVII, p. 356, March 7, 1843. 

7 Hid., p. 367. 

77 Yet a doubt must be permitted whether the Free Church party 
would have accepted an hostile decision even of Parliament. Chalmers, 
certainly, had not such doubts of his position as to think of mediation. 

7 Buchanan, II, 634. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 49 

implicit obedience thereto.' Than this no state- 
ment could well be more plain. 

Mr. Figgis, indeed, has doubts of this conclusion. 
'Presbyterianism,' he has written, 79 'as exhibited 
in Geneva or Scotland, veritably claims, as did the 
Papacy, to control the State in the interests of an 
ecclesiastical corporation.' Certainly this fairly 
represents the attitude of Knox; 80 and it is the 
basis of the able attack on that system by Leslie 
and Bramhall in the seventeenth century. 81 Yet 
the vital conception of the two kingdoms, separate 
and distinct, was put forward in the first epoch of 
Scottish Presbyterian history by Andrew Mel- 
ville ; 82 and it is safe to say that the attempt thus 
to define the limits of authorities basically con- 
ceived as distinct is the special contribution of 
Presbyterianism to the theory of political free- 
dom. The difference is of importance since it 
constitutes the point of divergence between ultra- 
montanism and the Scottish system. The one 
teaches the supremacy of the ecclesiastical power, 
the other its co-ordination with the civil. Cardinal 
Manning, indeed, in the course of those contro- 
versies arising out of the definition of papal 
infallibility in which he played so striking a part, 83 

79 Divine Eight of Kings, p. 186. But in the preface to his second 
edition Mr. Figgis considerably modifies his conclusion. 

so Cf. Works, IV, 539. 

si Cf . Leslie, The New Association and Bramhall 'a A Warning to the 
Church of England. 

sz As Mr. Figgis notes, Divine Sight of Kings, p. 286. 

ss See his Caesarism and Ultramontanism, 1874. 



50 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

went so far as to claim that every Christian Church 
makes the same demand of the State as the com- 
munion to which he belonged, and urged that the 
theories of Presbyterian writers are in substance 
papalist. 84 But Mr. Innes, in a very brilliant 
essay, was able most conclusively to dispose of this 
claim. 85 A theory of mutual independence is as 
far as possible removed from papalism. 86 The 
conscience of the State and that of the Church are 
kept as separate in Presbyterian theory as they 
have been combined in that of Hildebrand and his 
successors. Cardinal Manning, indeed, was 
(probably unconsciously), a fervent upholder of 
the Austinian theory of sovereignty ; and he found 
his sovereign in the will of the Universal Church 
as expressed by its pontiff. But not even the 
boldest opponent of Presbyterianism can accuse 
it, outside its own communion, 87 of an Austinian 
bias. It is the antithesis of what Mr. Innes well 
terms the * centralised infallibility' of the Roman 
system. 88 
Not, indeed, that contemporaries were wrong 

8* See his article in the Contemporary Eeview for April, 1874. 

85 See his paper ' Ultramontanism and the Free Kirk ' in the Con- 
temporary Eeview for June, 1874. 

ss Though the Encyclical Immortale Dei of 1885 in Denziger 's 
Enchiridion, pp. 501-508, and Newman's Letter to the Duke of Norfolk 
are, as I hope to show in a later paper, very akin to the Presbyterian 
theory; and the Jesuits of the seventeenth century worked out a similar 
claim. 

ST I say outside because the General Assembly claims a control that 
is very like that of an Austinian. 

88 Contemporary Eeview, Vol. 24, p. 267. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 51 

who judged that, equally in 1843 as in 1870, the 
implicitly Austinian doctrines of Erastianism were 
at stake. 'We can not,' said the Catholic Tablet, 
i avoid seeing that on this question they have taken 
their stand on the only principles which, as Catho- 
lics, we can respect . . . their cry is down with 
Erastianism, and so is ours.' 'When the Civil 
Courts,' said the North British Review, 90 'assumed 
the power of determining the whole matter, . . . 
the controversy was forced to assume its true 
character as in reality involving the very essence 
of the spiritual independence of the Church.' 
And Macaulay, who fought Edinburgh in the 
election of 1841, regretted that he could not teach 
the anti-Erastians some straightforward whig 
doctrine. 91 

V 

Not less firm than that of Chalmers and his 
party was the stand taken by the opponents of 
the Scottish Church. It is, indeed, possible to find 
two, and perhaps three, different theories of the 
relations between Church and State in the various 
judicial opinions upon the Auchterarder and its 
connected cases; but all of them, with a single 
exception, 92 are traceable to a single basic prin- 
ciple. The judges found a conflict between two 

89 Quoted in Fraser's Magazine for July, 1843. 
o North British Review, 1849, p. 447. 
siTrevelyan's Life (Nelson ed.), II, 57. 
92 That of Lord Medwyn, see below. 



52 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

societies the Church and the State. Which was 
to prevail? Was the State to be deemed inferior 
to the Church, since the latter was grounded upon 
divine authority ? ' Such an argument, ' said Lord 
MacKenzie, 93 'can never be listened to here.' In 
general, the attitude of the Courts seemed to imply 
an acceptance of the argument used by the Dean 
of Faculty in his speech against the Presbytery 
of Auchterarder. 'What rights,' he asked, 94 'or 
claims had any religious persuasion against the 
State before its establishment. . . . When he 
(Mr. Whigham) described the establishment of 
the National Church as a compact ... he took 
too favourable a view of the matter for the 
defenders. For any such compact implies the 
existence of two independent bodies, with previous 
independent authority and rights. But what 
rights had the Church of Scotland before its 
establishment by Act of Parliament to assert or 
surrender or conceded He put forward, in fact, 
the concession theory of corporate personality. 95 
There were no rights save those which the State 
chose to confer; and the Church of Scotland was 
merely a tolerated association until the Act of 
Security legalised its existence. This seems to 
have been the judicial attitude. Lord Gillies 
emphatically denied the possibility of looking upon 

s Middleton v. Anderson, 4 D. 1010. 
9*Eobertson, I, 185. 

5 See my paper on ' The Personality of Associations ' in the Harvard 
Law Review for February, 1916. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 53 

the Act of Security as a compact. 'I observe,' he 
said, 96 '. . . that it is an improper term. There 
can be no compact, properly speaking, between 
the legislature and any other body in the State. 
Parliament, the king, and the three Estates of the 
Realm are omnipotent, and incapable of making a 
compact, because they cannot be bound by it.' 
Even Lord Cockburn r in his dissenting judgment, 
based his decision rather on the supposed historic 
basis for the Veto Law than on the co-equality of 
Church and State. 97 The Lord President went 
even further in his unqualified approval of Eras- 
tian principles. The Church, he held, has no 
1 liberties which are acknowledged . . . suo jure, 
or by any inherent or divine right, but as given 
and granted by the king or any of his prede- 
cessors. . . . The Parliament is the temporal head 
of the Church, from whose acts and from whose 
acts alone, it exists as the national Church, and 
from which alone it derives all its powers/ 98 He 
would not for a moment admit that a conflict of 
jurisdiction between Church and State might 
occur, for, 'an Establishment can never possess an 
independent jurisdiction which can give rise to a 
conflict ... it is wholly the creation of Statute/ 99 
The General Assembly possessed no powers, but 

M Eobertson, II, 32. 
oTBoberteon, II, 359. 
s Eobertson, II, pp. 2, 4, 5, 10. 

9 Cuninghame v. Lainshawe, Clark 's report of the Stewarton case, 
1843, p. 53. 



54 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

only privileges. 100 It could not be a supreme 
legislature, for there could only be one such body 
in a State. Any other situation 'would be irrecon- 
cilable with the existence of any judicial power in 
the country/ 101 

To Lord Meadowbank the Church of Scotland 
seemed comparable to a corporation to which as an 
* inferior and subordinate department' of itself the 
State had given the right to make bye-laws. But 
its power was limited. It was a statutory creation 
which could exercise only the powers of its found- 
ing Act. 'The civil magistrate,' he said, 102 'must 
have authority to interpose the arm of the law 
against what then becomes an act of usurpation on 
the part of the ecclesiastical power. Were it 
otherwise, anarchy, confusion and disaster would 
inevitably follow/ So, too, did Lord MacKenzie 
urge the final supremacy of the legislature, though, 
very significantly, he admitted that a churchman 
might think differently. 'The subjection of the 
Assembly,' he said, 103 to the State, 'is not owing 
to any contract between Church and State, but 
simply to the supreme power of the legislature, 
which every subject of this country must obey. . . . 
I repeat therefore that when the question is 
whether anything is illegal as being contrary to 
Act of Parliament, it is utterly vain to cite any act 
of the Assembly as supporting it in any degree.' 

100 Bobertson, II, 23. 

101 Loc. cit. 

102 Robertson, II, 88. 
los Bobertson, II, 121. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 55 

Here, of a certainty, was the material for eccle- 
siastical tragedy. The difficulty felt by the 
majority of the Court is one that lies at the root 
of all discussion on sovereignty. Anarchy, so the 
lawyer conceives, must follow unless it be clearly 
laid down at the outset that beyond the decision 
of Parliament as interpreted by the Courts there 
can be no question. It is not a question of spheres 
of respective jurisdiction. The legislature of the 
State, the king in Parliament, exercises an un- 
limited power. 104 If the legislature be sovereign, 
then comparison between its powers and those of 
any other body becomes impossible since it follows 
from the premise that what Parliament has 
ordained no other organisation can set aside. 
Clearly, therefore, to the jurist, the claim of the 
Presbyterian Church to be a societas perfecta was 
ab initio void; for that claim would involve the 
possession of a sovereignty which theory will 
admit to none save king in Parliament. 105 That 
was what the Lord President meant by his asser- 
tion that the Church possessed not rights but 
privileges ; for rights it could hold only by virtue 
of an unique supremacy, whereas privilege empha- 
sised the essential inferiority of its position. The 
Courts, in fact, were denying the doctrine of the 

10* This is of course the simple doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty 
discussed by Professor Dicey in the first chapter of his Law of the 
Constitution. It is very effectively criticised in the last chapter of 
Professor Mcllwain's High Court of Parliament. 

105 Cf . ' The Sovereignty of the State, ' supra. 



56 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

two kingdoms. Where the Presbyterian saw two 
States within society one of which happened to be 
his Church, the lawyer saw no distinction between 
society and the State and held the Church to be but 
an arm of the latter. By grace of Parliament 
the Church might legislate on matters purely 
ecclesiastical and a certain comity would give 
respect to its decisions. But the power was of 
grace and the respect was merely courtesy; for 
the definition of ecclesiastical matters in no way 
lay with the Church's jurisdiction. 106 Clearly 
between such an attitude as this, and the theories 
of Dr. Chalmers there could be no compromise. 
The premises of the one denied the axioms of the 
other. The Church dare not admit what Lord 
Fullerton called 'the supposed infallibility of the 
Court of Session' 107 without destroying its own 
independence. Nor could there be grounds for 
such a course. 'No church,' the pious Buchanan 
told the General Assembly of 1838, 108 'could ever 
be justified in obeying another master than Christ.' 
It was useless to contend that if state-endowed the 
Church must be unf ree, for it was on the basis of 
freedom that endowment had been accepted. The 
demands of the Court of Session would make the 
oath of ministerial obedience a mockery. 109 So 
was the issue joined. 

loe Bobertson, II, 37. Per Lord Gillies. 
io7 Buchanan, I, 465. 
los /6td., I, 472. 
109 Hid. t I, 478. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 57 

VI 

The attitude of the ministry was in an important 
way different from that of the Court of Session. 
It was, indeed, very akin to that of the Moderate 
Party in the Church itself, of which the able Dr. 
Cook was the leader. 110 To him the Church was 
not the creature of the State. It was independent. 
There were the two provinces, civil and eccle- 
siastical, but where a difference arose between the 
two powers the ultimate decision must rest with 
the Courts of Law. 'When any law,' he urged in 
1838, 111 'is declared by the competent (civil) 
authorities to affect civil right, the Church can not 
set aside such a law ... so to do would be to 
declare ourselves superior to the law of the land.' 
To him the claim of the Church seemed little less 
than an attempt at the erection of a new popery, 
and he refused from the outset to identify it with 
liberty of conscience. 112 The acceptance of an 
establishment made, in his view, a vital difference. 
It meant that the Church accepted the secular 
definition of its powers, and that resistance to such 
definition was tantamount to rebellion. 113 He did 
not deny the Headship of Christ. But he did 
believe, 'that there may be ground for diversity of 

no The reader of Mr. Buchanan 's work should be warned that the 
writer's prejudices lead him consistently to misrepresent Dr. Cook's 
attitude. 

in Buchanan, I, 481. II, 21. 

112 Ibid., II, 24. 
id., II, 261. 



58 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

opinion as to what is comprehended under that 
Headship in all cases,' and the decision, in an 
ambiguous case where conflict arose between 
Church and State, seemed to him to belong to the 
State. 114 He was impressed, as the Court of 
Session was impressed, with the impossibility of 
arriving at a decision if the co-ordination of 
powers be admitted, and it was clearly upon their 
grounds that he urged the Church to give way. 
It was this difference between established and 
voluntary churches which finally weighed with 
Sir Robert Peel. The right of the Roman Catho- 
lics or the Protestant Dissenters absolutely to 
control those who choose to submit to their juris- 
diction was unquestionable. The State would 
attempt no interference with it. 'But if,' he 
pointed out, 115 'a Church chooses to have the 
advantage of an establishment and to hold those 
privileges which the law confers that Church, 
whether it be the Church of Rome, or the Church 
of England, or the Presbyterian Church of Scot- 
land, must conform to the law.' To him the 
position taken up by the Church was inadmissible 
since it involved the right to determine the limits 
of its jurisdiction. That could be done only by 
'the tribunal appointed by Parliament, which is 
the House of Lords.' Nor did Sir James Graham, 
upon whom the defence of the government's 

11* Ibid., II, 516. Cf. this with Manning's view that the power 
to fix the limits of its own power was essentially the right of the Church. 
The Vatican Decrees (1875), p. 54. 

us Hansard, 3d Series, Vol. LXVII, p. 502, March 8, 1843. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 59 

attitude mainly rested, offer any greater conso- 
lation to the Church. "They declare/ he told the 
House of Commons, 116 'that any Act of Parliament 
passed without the consent of the Church and 
nation shall be void and of none effect. ... I 
think that to such a claim ... no concession 
should be made.' Since the sphere of jurisdiction 
between Church and State had not been defined, 
to admit the Presbyterian claim would be to admit 
'the caprice of a body independent of law,' with 
the result that no dispute could ever admit of 
settlement. The Church was established by the 
State and was spiritually bound by the terms of 
its establishment. If it was not the creature of 
the State, 'still the state employs the Church on 
certain terms as the religious instructor of the 
people of Scotland,' and the employe was vir- 
tually demanding the right to lay down the con- 
ditions of its employment. That demand could 
not be admitted; for those conditions were em- 
bodied in statutes of which the interpretation 
must rest with the supreme civil tribunal. The 
Church was definitely inferior, as a source of 
jurisdiction, to the House of Lords. 'These pre- 
tensions,' he said, 117 'of the Church of Scotland 
as they now stand, to co-ordinate jurisdiction, and 
the demand that the government should by law 
recognise the right of the Church to determine in 
doubtful cases what is spiritual and what is civil, 

"6 Ibid., March 7, 1843, pp. 382 S. 
i" Ibid. 



60 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

and thereby to adjudicate on matters involving 
rights of property, appears to me to rest on expec- 
tations and views so unjust and unreasonable, that 
the sooner they are extinguished the better.' 

Some points of importance deserve to be noted 
in this connexion. The Church, certainly, did not 
claim the right to decide the nature of its juris- 
diction. 118 What in fact it claimed was the essen- 
tially historic grant of a right to control its own 
affairs. To itself, that right, admitted in 1690, 
and doubly confirmed in 1705, was wantonly 
violated in 1712 ; and the Church was compelled to 
regard that Act as a nullification of the funda- 
mental law made but seven years previously. The 
real head and centre of the whole problem was thus 
the theory of parliamentary sovereignty. The 
Church could not conceive an inherent right in 
Parliament to disregard an obligation assumed 
with such solemnity. Nor, equally, was it within 
the competence of the courts to disregard an Act 
which the Church, wrongly or rightly, condemned. 
For them there was no such thing as a fundamental 
law. They could not, with the Act of 1712 before 
them, announce that patronage was an eccle- 
siastical question and therefore within the compe- 
tence of the General Assembly for so to do would 
be not merely to question the sovereignty of 
Parliament, but also to admit that the General 
Assembly was a co-ordinate legislature with Par- 

n8 See above the references at notes 60 and 61. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 61 

liament. A new theory of the State was required 
before they would admit so startling a proposition. 
A second point is of interest. In the judgment 
of Lord Medwyn there is a theory of Church and 
State, which, impliedly at least, was also the theory 
of Sir Robert Peel. 119 A voluntary Church pos- 
sesses the authority and the rights claimed by the 
Church of Scotland ; but when the alliance with the 
State was made the rights must be regarded as 
surrendered. All that the Church can do is to 
break the agreement, should it feel dissatisfied 
with the results of the alliance. But, as a fact, it 
was not law in 1838, and it is not now law, that 
a voluntary association is independent of the State 
in the degree claimed by the Scottish Church. If 
our antagonism to such societies has not found 
such open expression as in France, 120 if, in brief, 
we have had no loi le Chapelier that is rather 
because by implication the power of control is 
already to hand. For, in the view of the State, 
immediately a Church receives property upon 
condition of a trust the State is the interpreter of 
that trust, and will interfere even with an unes- 
tablished Church to secure its enforcement. 122 
Lord Medwyn and Sir Robert Peel were claiming 

us Cf . Innes p. 74 and the interesting note on that page. 
12 Cf . Combes, Une Campagne talque, p. 20 the citation from the 
Due de Broglie. 

121 And article 29 of the Code PSnale forbids associations of more 
than twenty persons even for social purposes. Seilhae, Syndicat Ouvriers 
(1902), p. 64. 

122 See my paper, 'Trusts in favour of Beligious Bodies' in the 
Canadian Law Times for March-April, 1916. 



62 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

for the State a sovereignty far less than that of 
orthodox legal doctrine. 123 For if the Church once 
take any step which involves property-relations, 
it brings itself within the scope of the civil law; 
and its own inherent rights can not be a ground 
of contest against the supremacy of Parliament. 124 
Allegiance to the law is absolute, since the law does 
not admit degrees of acceptance. What Lord 
Justice Clerk Hope said as to the effect of statute 
remains as true in relation to a voluntary body as 
in relation to the Established Church of which he 
spoke. ' Their refusal to perform the ecclesiastical 
duty is a violation of a statute, therefore a civil 
wrong to the party injured, therefore cognisable 
by Courts of Law, therefore a wrong for which the 
ecclesiastical persons are amenable to law, because 
there is no exemption for them from the ordinary 
tribunals of this country if they do not perform 
the duties laid upon them by statute.' 125 Clearly, 
Disruption was the one outlet from this impasse. 

VII 

One last judicial theory deserves some consid- 
eration. In his brilliant dissenting judgment, 
Lord Jeffrey took a ground very different from 
that of his brethren. 126 His whole conception of 

128 Sir F. .Pollock has protested (10 L. Q. E., 99) that English 
lawyers do not accept this view; it is certainly the theory of the Courts. 

124 Eobertson, II, 121. 

125 Kinnoull v. Ferguson, March 10, 1843, 5 D. 1010. Innes, p. 82. 

126 See Eobertson, II, 380 ff. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 63 

the problem was based on his belief that once Lord 
Kinnoull had presented Mr. Young to the living 
of Auchterarder, the proceedings became eccle- 
siastical in nature; and for the Court of Session 
to force Mr. Young upon the Presbytery was to 
intrude 'in the most flagrant manner almost that 
can be imagined on their sacred and peculiar 
province. It would be but a little greater profa- 
nation if we were asked to order a Church Court 
to admit a party to the Communion Table, 127 whom 
they had repelled from it on religious grounds, 
because he had satisfied us that he was prejudiced 
in the exercise of his civil rights by the exclu- 
sion. n28 Lord Jeffrey, in fact, argues that there is 
a method of discovering the right province of any 
action of which the exact nature is uncertain. The 
result of the action ought to be considered, and if 
that result be fundamentally ecclesiastical rather 
than civil, the Courts ought to treat the case as 
the concern of an independent and co-ordinate 
jurisdiction the Church Court. He pointed out 
that practically every action has in some sort a 
civil result. 'When the General Assembly/ he 
said, 129 'deposes a clergyman for heresy or gross 
immorality, his civil interests, and those of his 
family suffer to a pitiable extent. But is the act 
of deposition the less an ecclesiastical proceeding 

127 But this has now been done in the Church of England. See 
Bannister v. Thompson [1908], pp. 362, and on the rule for Prohibition 
E. v. Dibden [1912], A. C., 533. 

"8 Eobertson, II, 372. 

i2 Eobertson, II, 362. 



64 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

on that account?' He adopts, it is clear, a prag- 
matic test of the ownership of debatable ground. 
The limits of jurisdiction are not, as in Chalmers* 
view, so clearly defined at the outset as to make 
collision impossible. Rather is its possibility 
admitted and frankly faced. What Jeffrey then 
suggested as the true course was to balance the 
amount of civil loss Lord Kinnoull would suffer 
against the ecclesiastical loss of the Church; if 
that were done, he urged that the Church would 
have suffered more, and he therefore gave his 
decision in its favour. The argument is a valuable 
contribution to that pragmatic theory of law 
of which Professor Pound has emphasised the 
desirability. 180 

VIII 

It was a dictum of Lord Acton's that from the 
study of political thought above all things we 
derive a conviction of the essential continuity of 
history. Assuredly he who set out to narrate the 
comparative history of the ideas which pervade 
the Disruption of 1843 would find himself studying 
the political controversies of half a thousand 
years. For than the questions the Disruption 
raised it is difficult to find more fundamental 
problems; nor has there been novelty in the 

iso 27 Harvard Law Review, 735. For a splendid example of the way 
in which the theory can be worked out see his paper in 29 Harvard Law 
Eeview, 640. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 65 

answers that then were made. The theory of those 
who opposed the Free Church has its roots far 
back in the Reformation. It can be paralleled 
from Luther and Whitgift, just as the theory of 
Chalmers and his adherents is historically con- 
nected with the principles with which Barclay 
confronted Ultramontanism, and the Jesuits a 
civil power that aimed at supremacy. 131 

The Presbyterians of 1843 were fighting the 
notion of a unitary state. To them it seemed 
obvious that the society to which they belonged 
was no mere cog-wheel in the machinery of the 
State, destined only to work in harmony with its 
motions. They felt the strength of a personality 
which, as they urged, was complete and self- 
sufficient, just as the medieval state asserted its 
right to independence when it was strong enough 
not merely to resent, but even to repudiate, the 
tutelage of the ecclesiastical power. They were 
fighting a State which had taken over bodily the 
principles and ideals of the medieval theocracy. 
They urged the essential federalism of society, the 
impossibility of confining sovereignty to any one 
of its constituent parts, just as Bellarmine had 
done in the seventeenth century and Palmieri and 
Tarquini in even later times. 132 If there seems 
something of irony in such a union, the Miltonic 
identification of priest and presbyter will stand 

isi Figgis, From Gerson to Grotius, p. 63. 
132 Cf . Figgis, op. cit., p. 184. 



66 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

as voucher for it. 138 The problem which Presby- 
terian and Jesuit confronted was, after all, at 
bottom fundamentally identical. We must not 
then marvel at the similarity of the response each 
made. 

Nor was the attitude of the Court of Session less 
deeply rooted in the past. Historically, it goes 
back to that passionate Erastianism of Luther 
which was the only answer he could make to the 
Austinianism of Rome. 134 If, in the nineteenth 
century, the divinity he claimed for civil society 
has disappeared, the worship of a supposed logical 
necessity in unified governance itself a medieval 
thing 135 has more than taken its place. Lord 
President Hope seems to have been as horrified at 
the implicit federalism of the Free Church as was 
good Archbishop Whitgift at the federalism of 
Cartwright. 136 He does not understand the notion 
of the two kingdoms and so falls back on the stern 
logic of parliamentary sovereignty. The State, 
so it is conceived, can not admit limitations to 
its power; for from such limitation anarchy is 
eventually the product. Therefore the societies 

133 it is a matter of great interest that the Presbyterians, like the 
Jesuits, should have had two quite distinct theories of the State. In 
the seventeenth century one has to distinguish sharply between that of 
men like Cartwright and that of the Presbyterians in the Parliaments of 
Charles I. The latter was definitely Erastian and it was against that 
theory that Milton intelligibly inveighed. Cf. Figgis, Divine Eight 
of Kings, Chapter IX. 

is* Works, Jena ed., 12, 339. 

136 Cf. Maitland's GierTce, p. 102. 

138 Shype, Life of Whitgift, II, 22 ff. 



POLITICAL THEORY OF DISRUPTION 67 

within the State can exist only on sufferance ; and 
if the England of 1843 did not emulate the France 
of sixty years later, it was from no want of 
theorising about the rights of congregations. 137 It 
is one of the curiosities of political thought that 
just as in the medieval Church insistence on the 
unity of allegiance should ultimately have led to 
the Reformation, yet its consequence should have 
been the creation of an organism demanding no 
smaller rights than its predecessor. The State, 
like the Church of past days, is set over against 
the individual, and stout denial is given to the 
reality of other human fellowships. 

Between two such antithetic ideals compromise 
was impossible. The assertion of the one involved 
the rejection of the other. If the State, theoreti- 
cally, was in the event victorious, practically it 
suffered a moral defeat. And it may be suggested 
that its virtual admission in 1874 that the Church 
was right 138 is sufficient evidence that its earlier 
resistance to her claims had been mistaken. If its 
resistance was mistaken, the source of error is 
obvious. A state that demands the admission that 
its conscience is supreme goes beyond the due 
bounds of righteous claim. It will attain a theo- 
retic unity only by the expulsion of those who 
doubt its rectitude. It seems hardly worth while 

1ST Mr. Figgis, both in his From Gerson to Grotius and Churches in 
the Modern State attacks very bitterly the Austinianism of M. Combes 
as seen in his Campagne Lalque but I do not feel that he understands the 
provocations to which the Eepublic was subjected. 

138 Innes, p. 113. 



68 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

to discuss so inadequate an outlook. The division 
of power may connote a pluralistic world. It may 
throw to the winds that omnicompetent State for 
which Hegel in Germany and Austin in England 
have long and firmly stood the sponsors. Yet 
insofar as that distinction is achieved will it the 
more firmly unite itself to reality. 



THE POLITICAL THEORY OF THE 
OXFORD MOVEMENT 1 



IF, in its broader aspects, Tractarianism is no 
more than the English side of that reactionary 
romanticism which, on the Continent, drove men 
like Schlegel back to the ideals of the Roman 
Church, 2 in a more narrow sense, it is to certain 
great political causes that we must look for its 
origin. 3 The Church of England ceased to derive 
benefit from that indifference which, in an age of 
benevolent complacency, had shielded it from 
criticism. 'The Church of England,' Bentham 
remarked with a calm joy, 4 4s ripe for dissolution/ 
The famous Black Book which John Wade flung 

1 For the purposes of this paper I have regarded the movement as 
ending with the conversion of Manning rather than of Newman. There 
is, of course, a sense in which the movement has not yet ended. In that 
view Mr. Figgis' Churches in the Modern State might be read as the 
lineal successor to Pusey's tract on the royal supremacy. 

2 Cf . V. F. Storr, Development of English Theology During the Nine- 
teenth Century, pp. 126 ff. 

3 Cf. Church, The Oxford Movement, p. 1, n. 1. 

4 Church of Englandism, Works, II, 199. Cf . Stanley, Life of Arnold, 
I, 326. Fraser's Magazine, March, 1835, p. 247. Quarterly Review 
(1834), Vol. 50, p. 509. 



70 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

in 1820 at an outraged aristocracy 5 did much to 
reveal a state of affairs with which not even the 
most comfortable could express contentment. 
There had been for some time signs of movement 
from within. The evangelism of Knox and 
Simeon, of Milner and of Wilberforce, had been 
essentially a protest of spiritual insight against 
political worldliness ; 8 and if the movement was 
distinguished rather by its moral, than by its 
mental strength, there was good reason to see in 
men like Daubeny and Knox the hope of a great 
intellectual renaissance. 7 

Simultaneously with the hopes of this revival, 
the growth of liberal ideas in the second and third 
decades of the nineteenth century did much to 
destroy the privileged position of the English 
Church. The repeal, in 1828, of the Test and 
Corporation Acts placed the Dissenters on an 
equal political level with Anglicans. In the next 
year Roman Catholic emancipation followed; and 
when, in 1832, the Eef orm Bill was forced upon a 
reluctant House of Lords, it must have seemed 
to indignant Tories that the flood gates of democ- 
racy had been opened. 8 It was certainly possible 

<s D. N. B., Vol. 58, p. 416. 

e Cf . Storr, op. tit., p. 63 ff. 

7 Mr. Storr, indeed, contends that Knox anticipated most of the 
characteristic ideas of the Tractarians, op. cit., p. 85. 

s Sir John Walsh is an admirable index of this attitude. See his 
voluminous pamphlets especially Popular Opinions on Parliamentary 
"Reform Considered (London, 1832), pp. 7, 12, 16, and Colonel Stewart's 
Examination of the Principles and Tendencies of the Ministerial Plan 
of Reform (Edinburgh, 1831). Scarlett, Letter to Lord Milton (London, 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 71 

no longer to see Church and State as convertible 
terms. The State was accepting as its fully quali- 
fied members men who by no possible stretch of 
the imagination could be deemed Anglican in 
outlook. There were even thinkers of repute, like 
Arnold, to whom the peculiar identity of the 
Church of England counted as nothing, 9 but who 
simply desired a vague, generalised Christianity 
as the best of citizenship. 10 

It was scarcely remarkable that there should be 
deep apprehension for the future. 'The Church 
of England, ' wrote the Quarterly Review in 1834, 11 
4s as a beleaguered city. ' Even the placid Greville 
was convinced that its reform must be under- 
taken; 12 and an able writer in the next year went 
so far as to maintain that 'the only point worthy 
of consideration was how that reform may be 
effected so as at once to occasion the least amount 
of hazard to the party about to be reformed,' 18 
while James Mill complacently speculated as to 
how best the Church might be transformed into 
a kind of gigantic mechanics institute. 14 

1831), p. 37, 'I hold it as a maxim that every government which tends 
to separate property from constitutional power must be liable to per- 
petual revolutions.' 

Of. Newman's question as to Arnold, Apologia (ed. Wilfrid Ward), 
p. 134. 

10 Cf. Stanley, Life of Arnold, Vol. I, pp. 205, 207, 333. II, p. 133, 
and his consequent opposition to Jewish emancipation, II, p. 40, 44. 

n Vol. 50, p. 509. 

12 Greville, III, 206. 

is Fraser's Magazine, March, 1835, p. 247. 

i* London Review, July, 1835. Cf . L. Stephen, English Utilitarians, 
II, 57. 



72 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

It was into such an atmosphere that the Ministry 
of Lord Grey flung their bombshell of Irish 
Church Reform. The English Church in Ireland 
had long been the object of fierce and bitter attack. 
The establishment of a small minority, it was 
supported by the tithes of an alien community. 
It had means that were, unquestionably, more 
than sufficient to its end. The collection of its 
revenues had long been one of the plagues of the 
Home Secretary. At last the ministry decided 
upon a drastic reform. If State support was 
continued, nevertheless ten of the bishoprics were 
suppressed; 15 and it was perhaps even more 
striking that in his admission of its abuses, 16 Lord 
John Eussell went out of his way to state that 
where Church funds could be more profitably 
utilised they should be confiscated. 17 It was long 
since the Church had received so thoroughgoing 
a challenge. 

Newman has told 18 us how bitter was his resent- 
ment against the Liberals when news of the event 
travelled out to Italy. It was not the Bill itself 
so much as the movement of which it was the 
striking manifestation that angered him. l It was, ' 
he wrote, 19 'the success of the Liberal cause which 

is Brodrick and Fotheringham, History of England from 1801-1837, 
p. 322. 

IB Greville (ed. of 1874), Vol. Ill, pp. 9, 267. Lord Grey had already 
warned the bishops to set their house in order. Storr, op. cit., p. 250. 

IT Walpole, Life of Lord John Eussell, I, 197. 

is Apologia (Ward's ed.), p. 134. 
cit. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 73 

fretted me inwardly. I became fierce against its 
instruments and its manifestations.' He hurried 
home to England with the perception clearly in his 
mind that a great work had been committed to his 
charge. 20 Five days later Keble, already famous 
as the author of the Christian Year, from his 
pulpit in the University Church, attacked the 
impious hands of the government in his famous 
sermon on * National Apostasy.' From that utter- 
ance the Oxford Movement takes its rise. 21 It was 
a protest not merely against a particular measure. 
The Oxford group felt that 'the Government's real 
object was to gratify the priests by the abolition 
of the hierarchy of the Church of England as a 
first step to the entire destruction of the Church's 
status and property, and the formation of a 
Roman Catholic establishment; but they did not 
venture to avow this motive and pretended that 
the measure was for the purpose of reforming and 
strengthening the Church itself . . . the shock 
upon the introduction of this sacrilegious bill was 
electric. The bill called upon Newman and his 
friends to resist as one man the enactment of 
'laws contrary to the first principles of the Church's 
discipline, divesting Christians of spiritual privi- 
leges not originally bestowed by the State, and 
which the State could not take away.' 22 It was 

20 Qp. tit., p. 135. 

21 Loc. tit., p. 136. 

22 Palmer, Narrative of Events, p. 45. It is difficult to say how much 
truth there is in his story of a contemplated Eoman Catholic establish- 
ment. Peel had certainly considered the idea. Life, Vol. I, p. 369. 



74 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

obvious that some measure of protection must be 
taken. Palmer, Froude, Newman and Keble 
founded the Association of Friends of the Church 
of which the object was to preserve 'pure and 
inviolate' its identity. 23 In the British Magazine, 
then under the able guidance of Hugh James 
Rose, with whom at this time Newman became 
acquainted, they already had an organ for their 
opinions. 24 Newman himself, with the strong 
approval of Froude and Keble, had begun the 
publication of the famous Tracts for the Times; 
he was writing on Church reform in the religious 
journals. 25 Care was taken to secure their circu- 
lation among the clergy where they seem to have 
met with a large measure of approval. 26 In 1834 
the important adhesion of Pusey already Regius 
Professor was gained. 27 The confidence of the 
Tractarians was high. 'It would be/ wrote New- 
man, 28 'in fact a second Reformation: a better 
reformation, for it would be a return not to the 
sixteenth but to the seventeenth century. ' 

But the movement was not to meet without 
opposition. From the outset it was bitterly anti- 
Erastian. 'With Froude,' Newman tells us, 28 and 
it must be remembered that by Froude, Newman 
was above all influenced, 'Erastianism was the 

" ~ M Ibid., p. 49. 

24 Apologia, p. 140. 

25 Apologia, p. 144. 

26 See Appendix A to Palmer 's Narrative. 

27 Palmer, p. 60. 

28 Apologia, p. 141. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 75 

parent, or if not the parent, the serviceable and 
sufficient tool of Liberalism.' But anti-Erastian- 
ism was not likely to meet with approval among 
the political ecclesiastics of London. It drew its 
inspiration, at any rate, in its Tractarian expres- 
sion, from the Middle Ages; 29 and to admire the 
medieval popes was already to conceive of a 
Church infinitely superior to the secular state. 
It was as passionately opposed to the latitudi- 
narian spirit of the politicians ; Sir Robert Inglis 
with his uncompromising orthodoxy was its politi- 
cal ideal. The Oxford Movement set its face 
firmly towards the past. It did not desire a 
charitable breadth of view. The truth was to be 
found in the writings of the fathers, and of the 
divines of the seventeenth century. 30 The Church 
was to purge itself of heresy and to build itself 
around the essential doctrine of the Apostolic 
succession. 31 The identity of the Church, in fact, 
was to be found not in its life but in its tradition. 32 
It thus relied essentially upon authority, and for 
its source it went back to the ages when, as it 
deemed, the Church was untrammelled by a State- 
connexion. Clearly, it had thus no sympathy from 
the outset with the notion of a royal supremacy 
'that blighting influence upon our Upas-tree' as 

29 Apologia, p. 154. 

so Of. Storr, op. cit., p. 258. 

si Of. Tract 4. 

32 Hence, in Tract 90, Newman logically endeavours to read the 
Tridentine tradition, i.e., to him the pre-Eeformation tradition, into the 
Thirty-Nine Articles. 



76 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Hurrell Fronde termed it 38 and was naturally 
alien in spirit to those who, like Arnold, looked 
upon Christianity essentially as a spirit and not 
a body of doctrine. It was, in brief, a Catholic and 
not a Protestant conception, 84 and was thus bound 
to challenge dissent from its conclusions. 

For to the majority of men, and certainly to the 
majority of influential men, the Church was not 
the Church, but the Establishment. 35 What it was, 
perhaps, even more, what it might become, was 
essentially a matter of parliamentary enactment. 
With Newman's keen sense of a separate clerical 
order, 86 and his challenging demand for independ- 
ence, it was impossible for them to feel any 
sympathy. To men like Lord John Russell, for 
instance, the Church was no more than one among 
many national institutions, and, equally with 
James Mill, though unconsciously, he was pre- 
pared to apply to its revenues the criterion of 
social utility. 37 Sir James Graham did not hesi- 
tate to affirm that the State might re-distribute 
Church property in any manner it thought fit, 'as 
long as it was distributed for purposes strictly 
Protestant. 788 'The Church of England/ John 

83 Eemains, I, 405. 

3* The reader may note how in Dr. Figgis ' Churches and the Modern 
State this attitude is, perhaps a little vaguely, implied. Of. especially 
pp. 43-47. 

ss Of. Church, The Oxford Movement, p. 51. 

SB Cf . the startling commencement of the first tract Ad clerum. 

87 Cf. Hansard, New Series, Vol. XXIV, p. 802, June 23, 1834. 

38 Hansard, New Series, Vol. XXVII, March 30, 1835, p. 423. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 77 

Cam Hobhouse told the House of Commons, 39 'is 
emphatically the offspring and child of the law, 
and the parent may deal with the child.' Even 
Sir Robert Peel could only defend the right of the 
Church to the increment-value of its improved 
property by urging that no distinction should be 
introduced between its possessions and those of 
other corporations. 40 Clearly such an attitude was 
virtually antithetic to that of the Tractarians. 
It explains the appointment of Dr. Hampden to 
the Regius Professorship of Divinity; for Hamp- 
den was at least a Liberal and had shown no notions 
of high prerogative in regard to the Church. And 
it was precisely on the ground of his liberalism 
that his appointment provoked so vehement an 
opposition. 41 

From the moment of that conflict the story 
possesses a tragic inevitability. The Tractarians 
went to extremes in their effort at least to neutralise 
the appointment; 42 and Dr. Hampden did not 
forget the part they played when the opportunity 
for return arose. 43 The contest turned the inchoate 
band of sympathisers into a party; and its mem- 
bers began to understand their responsibilities not 

39 Loc. tit., p. 534, March 31, 1835. 

40 Gladstone noted that Peel was wholly anti-Church and unelerical 
and largely undogmatic. Morley, I, 132. Hansard, New Series, Vol. 
XVII, April 16, 1833, p. 1002. 

Of. Church, The Oxford Movement, p. 168 ff. 

*2 Church, op. tit., p. 170. Palmer, Narrative, p. 131. Mr. Palmer 
makes it clear that the Tractarians were only a small number of the 
opposition. 

*3 Church, op. tit., p. 320. 



78 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

less than the need for giving them expression. 44 
Into the story of its growth it is not now possible 
to enter; 45 but it is permissible to point out that 
few movements have been so admirably served by 
their leaders. They were tireless with pen and 
with tongue. The Tracts flowed on without end. 
The four o'clock sermons at St. Mary's drew 
audiences which, if never very large, contained 
much of what was best in the University. There 
was endless thinking and endless investigation 
into the one fundamental question What is the 
Church? Enquiry began to be made into that 
most fascinating and dangerous of questions its 
origins. Quite early in its history the necessity 
of defining the relation of the movement to the 
Church of Rome became apparent, and the conse- 
quent change of emphasis in the tone adopted to 
that organisation was the point of disruption 
between the Tractarians and the Evangelicals. 4 ' 
The arrival of Monsignor Wiseman on his mission 
served also to emphasise the need for a right 
understanding of Catholic doctrine. 47 The Tracta- 
rians were already astutely aware that they were 
working out a midway between two extremes ; but 
they saw, too, that in certain decisive fundamen- 
tals Catholicism and Anglicanism were in essential 

* 4 Apologia, p. 166. 

45 It is needless, perhaps, to refer to Dean Church 's incomparable 
Oxford Movement. 
4 Apologia, p. 163. 
Op. cit., p. 164. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 79 

agreement. 48 Little by little they drew further 
along the road. Newman notes the first rumblings 
of the storm in 1838. 49 By 1841 it is clear that 
accusations against Rome had lost their former 
significance. Tract 90 was essentially an attempt 
to exclude Protestantism from the Thirty-Nine 
Articles 'they were tolerant,' he wrote, 50 'not 
only of what I called " Catholic teaching," but 
of much that was Roman. ' The authorities treated 
the Tract in the one way that was bound to create 
difficulties. It was met, writes Dean Church, 'not 
with argument, but with panic and wrath. 751 The 
acrimony of the atmosphere was intensely aggra- 
vated; suspicion of Rome set in everywhere. 
Every question was made a theological question. 
The Tractarian candidate to the poetry chair was 
defeated; Dr. Hampden obtained an ignoble, if 
curious revenge; Pusey was suspended in absurd 
fashion by the Vice-Chancellor from preaching. 52 
In the midst of difficulties a man born to intensify 
them plunged precipitately into the conflict. Mr. 
W. G. Ward seems to have had all the logical 
remorselessness of Hurrell Froude with a physical 
vigour of which the latter was deprived. His 
Ideal of a Christian Church was tantamount to 
an admission that Rome had always been right. 53 

48 Op. cit., p. 169. 
4 Op. cit., p. 175. 
eo Op. cit., p. 182. 

51 Church, op. cit., p. 290. 

52 Church, op. cit., 312-335. 

53 It is hardly needful for me to remark here how greatly I am 



80 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

That would have been harmless enough at another 
time. As it was, the condemnation it invited only 
drove Newman steadily along the road upon which 
it was now, as it seemed, inevitable" he should 
travel. He gave up his college position and retired 
to Littlemore to work and to think. Of the mental 
struggle through which he vainly lived he has 
himself written matchlessly, nor dare another 
retell the story. 55 In October, 1845, there occurred 
that event of which Mr. Gladstone so rightly said 
that 'it had never yet been estimated at anything 
like the full amount of its calamitous importance.' 56 
For a time there was peace. If Newman and 
Ward had gone, Keble and Pusey remained and 
they devoted themselves with singular courage to 
the task of repairing the breach that had been 
made. 57 Yet the Church had by no means com- 
pleted its time of travail. In 1847 Lord John 
Russell precipitated a further controversy by 
making Dr. Hampden a bishop 'an indication/ 
Lord Morley comments, 58 ' . . . of a determination 
to substitute a sort of general religion for the 
doctrines of the Church/ Certainly, it was not 
the type of appointment which might reassure 
those whom the secession of Newman had caused 

indebted to Mr. Wilfrid Ward's brilliant W. G. Ward and the Oxford 
Movement, 

*Cf. Morley 's Gladstone, I, 230. Apologia, p. 293. 

55 See especially Part VI of the Apologia. 

so Morley, I, 234. 

BT Church, op. cit., p. 406. Palmer, op. cit., p. 240. 

**Life of Gladstone, II, 280. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 81 

to waver. But worse was to follow. In the year 
1850 Bishop Philpotts refused to institute to the 
living of Bampford Speke the Reverend George 
Gorham on the ground of uncertain doctrine in 
regard to baptism. Mr. Gorham sued the bishop 
in the Court of Arches; but the court decided 
against him. He thereupon took his case on appeal 
to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council 
a purely lay body in which the two archbishops and 
the bishop of London sat as assessors. This latter 
Court reversed the proceedings of the Court of 
Arches by a majority verdict and Mr. Gorham 
took the living. But the decision was a disastrous 
one. 59 Everyone knew that the Court had been 
instituted to satisfy the restless ambition of Lord 
Brougham ; 60 and the latter himself testified in the 
House of Lords that it had not been intended that 
the Court should deal with such a class of cases. 61 
It was urged that political causes had not been 
without their influence on the judgment ; 62 certainly 
it asserted in a striking manner the inherent right 
of the Crown to settle matters of faith. Pusey and 
Keble no less than Gladstone and Manning were 
horrified. 'The case of the Church of England at 
this moment,' wrote Mr. Gladstone to Lord 

69 See the special report by Moore. The facts of the case and 
Lord Langdale's judgment are given conveniently in Brooke's Six Prwy 
Council Judgments. It is noteworthy that Bishop Blomfield, the most 
ecclesiastically minded of the three prelates, should have refused to 
concur in the judgment. 

BO Greville, I, 18. 

ei Hansard, 3d Series, Vol. Ill, p. 629. 

62 Palmer, Narrative, p. 245. Purcell 'a Manning, I, p. 523. 



82 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Lyttleton, 68 'is a very dismal one, and almost leaves 
men to choose between a broken heart and no" heart 
at all. But at present it is all dark or only twilight 
which rests upon our future.' A declaration of 
protest was issued by all the leaders of the High 
Church movement. 64 It was clear to Manning that 
the parting of the ways had come. Mr. Gladstone 
tried to urge delay, but to him the implications 
of the judgment were irresistible. 65 He tried to 
stimulate the clergy to an attack on the extension, 
as he deemed it, of the royal supremacy to eccle- 
siastical affairs, but met with little or no response. 68 
A letter to his bishop was equally unavailing. 
His friends, men like Dodsworth and Maskell, 67 
could do nothing by their protests. The govern- 
ment seemed determined to stand by the judgment. 
In the end Manning felt himself compelled to give 
up the struggle. 'I gradually came to see,' he 
wrote, 68 'that there was no intermediate position 
between the Catholic faith and an undogmatic 
pietism.' By September, 1850, it is clear that he 
was convinced, 69 and when he was called upon to 
protest against the Papal Aggression of 1851 he 
found it impossible to do so. 70 On the sixth of 
April, 1851, he was received into the Eoman 

esMorley, I, 283. 

6* The document in Purcell 's Manning, I, 532. 

es Purcell, I, 539 ff. 

66 Op. cit., I, 543-545. 

67 The great authority on liturgy, 
es Purcell, I, 558, n. 1. 

69 See the letter of S. Wilberf orce to Gladstone, Purcell, I, 568. 
TO Purcell, I, 578. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 83 

Catholic Church. His conversion was the last of 
those which may be directly traced to the influence 
of the Oxford Movement. 

II 

No one can read the Tracts for the Times with- 
out realising how far removed is their atmosphere 
from one of contented acceptance of State inter- 
ference. They do not, indeed, specifically reject 
the establishment; 71 but they point out with 
unhesitating directness the distinction between 
their position and that of the world at large. The 
Church does not depend upon the State. Its 
property is its own. It will not submit to the test 
of utility. The clergy must choose whether they 
will be for the Church or against it; 72 they must 
magnify their office. They must protest against 
what seems 'a most dangerous infringement on 
our rights on the part of the State.' They must 
not be content to be its creation. 'No one can say 
that the British legislature is in our communion, 
or that its members are necessarily even Chris- 
tians. What pretence then has it for, not merely 
advising, but superseding the Ecclesiastical 
power?' 73 The Church must resist such encroach- 
ment on its rights. 'You may keep it before you 
as a desirable object that the Irish Church should 

71 The first tract actually points out ' how miserable is the state of 
religious bodies not supported by the State.' 

72 Tract 1, p. 4. 

73 Tract g, p. 2. 



84 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

at some future day meet in Synod, and protest 
herself against what has been done; and then 
proceed to establish or rescind the State injunction 
as may be thought expedient.' 74 Here, clearly, is 
a high sense of prerogative. Its origin is equally 
obvious. It is not from a secular legislature that 
change must derive. 'When corruptions/ says 
the fifth tract, 75 'prevalent among the professedly 
Christian world render it necessary for her to 
state the substance of her faith in articles (as was 
done in A. D. 1562), or when circumstances appear 
to require any change or variation either in the 
Forms of her Liturgy, or in her general internal 
government, the king has the constitutional power 
of summoning the houses of convocation, a sort of 
ecclesiastical parliament composed of Bishop or 
clergy, from whom alone such changes can fitly 
or legally emanate.' But the king is only the 
temporal head of the Church. 'We are not thence 
to infer that she gave, or could give to an earthly 
monarch, or to his temporal legislature, the right 
to interfere with things spiritual. m It was natural 
that a protest should in this sense be made against 
the re-arrangement of dioceses by a Royal Com- 
mission in 1836 77 'without confirmation of their 
acts on the part of the Church.' 78 

7* Tract 2, p. 4. 
"P. 13. 

Loc. tit., p. 13. 

11 The reference is apparently to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners ' 
Act, 1836, 6 and 7 William IV, c. 77, but the protest is written in 1839. 
78 Tract S3, note on p. 7. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 85 

It is clearly against a presumed supremacy of 
the State over the Church that protest is made; 
and it is this which constitutes the key to the 
political theory of Tractarianism. Starting as it 
does in a movement against an invasion of what 
Keble deemed its prerogatival right to self- 
reformation, it was inevitable that this should be 
the case. Indeed seven years before the com- 
mencement of the Oxford Movement, Whately, in 
his Letters on the Church, had emphasised the 
idea of the Church as a perfect and self-sufficing 
society of divine institution, and had argued from 
that conception first to its rights of jurisdiction 
over all who voluntarily become its members; 80 
and next to the need for a complete separation of 
Church and State since the idea underlying each 
of the societies was essentially distinct. 81 Nor was 
he alone in this attitude. Almost at the end of the 
eighteenth century Bishop Horsley of St. David's 
had insisted that to think of the clergy as State- 
servants is self -excommunication. 82 The work of 
Whately, as we know, profoundly influenced New- 
man and Froude. 'What he did for me in point 
of religious opinion, ' wrote the former, 83 'was, first, 
to teach me the existence of the Church as a 

7 It is simply stated to be by ' an Episcopalian ' and Whately, I 
believe, never acknowledged the authorship. But it is usually ascribed 
to him. 

so In the third letter. 

si See the fourth letter. 

82 Cf . Storr, Development of English Tlieology, p. 84. 

ss Apologia, p. 115. 



86 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

substantive body or corporation ; next to fix in me 
those anti-Erastian views of Church polity which 
were one of the most prominent features of the 
Tractarian movement.' For if once it was ad- 
mitted that Church and State were distinct, and 
that the former possessed Apostolic succession, to 
admit the superiority of the latter would be 
intolerable. That had been the importance of 
Keble's sermon. The nation had apostatised 
itself ; it was no longer the Church. i This hateful 
circumstance it was/ Lord Morley has written, 84 
'that inevitably began in multitudes of devout and 
earnest minds to produce a revolution in their 
conception of a church, and a resurrection in 
curiously altered forms of that old ideal of 
Milton's austere and lofty school, the ideal of 
a purely spiritual association that should leave 
each man's soul and conscience free from " secular 
chains" and " hireling wolves." Once a new con- 
ception of the Church was needed it was inevitably 
upon dogma and orthodoxy that the Tractarians 
were driven back. 85 To find out what the Church 
was they were compelled to discover what it had 
been. They sought to know it in the days of 
its purity in its Catholic time. Hence the 
necessity for a rigid exclusiveness ; since it could 
not claim to be a branch of the Church Catholic 

s* Life of Gladstone, I, 115. 

ss In our own day an eloquent and brilliant defence has been made 
of this position by Dr. Figgis in his Churches in the Modern State from 
the Anglican standpoint and Dr. Forsyth in his Theology in Church and 
State from the Nonconformist. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 87 

and Apostolic unless that steady and decisive 
continuity of unimpaired doctrine had been 
maintained. 

It is this notion of a Church as a societas per- 
\ fecta, founded upon a definite and statutable creed, 
: which so clearly lies at the basis of the Tractarian 
antagonism to the State. For the State had 
' become non- Anglican, or, as they would have said, 
non-Christian, and they could not submit to a 
reform they knew to be inevitable at the hands 
of men whose doctrines they abhorred. 86 They had 
an uncomfortable suspicion that, as J. A. Froude 
remarked, 87 'the laity would never allow the Church 
of England to get on stilts . . . the State would 
remain master, let Oxford say what it pleased.' 
Inevitably, therefore, the central point of their 
attack was the royal supremacy since in it, as they 
were to learn, 88 was involved the notion that the 
State was supreme no less in spiritual than in 
temporal affairs. Their object from the outset 
was, if not to free the Church from the trammels 
of an Establishment, at any rate to minimise its 
consequences in the direction of secular control. 
'Churchmen,' said Dean Church many years 
later, 89 'believe the Church to be a religious society 

sCf. Froude The Oxford Counter-Beformation in Short Studies 
(ed. of 1883), Vol. IV, p. 154. 

87 Op. tit., p. 164. 

88 I say ' were to learn ' since it is clear from a variety of sources, 
e.g., Purcell's Life of Manning, I, 541, that many of the clergy did not 
understand the royal supremacy in this broad sense. 

89 Life and Letters of B. W. Church, p. 289. He is speaking of the 
Church Boards BUI. 



88 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

as much as a congregational body, as much so as 
the Roman Catholic body. It has also become in 
England an Established Church; but it has not 
therefore ceased to be a religious society with 
principles and laws of its own. ' The claim is that 
of the Presbyterians in 1843 90 and, repudiated in 
both cases by the State, it led to the foundation of 
the Free Church of Scotland in one event as to the 
revival of Roman Catholicism in the other. 

It was emphatically against Erastianism that 
the Tractarians were contending. 'Lord Grey,' 
Mr. Froude has reported, 91 'had warned the bishops 
in England to set their houses in order, and was 
said to have declared in private that the Church 
was a mare's nest.' Bishop Wilberforce assur- 
edly no enemy to the Establishment quoted in 
the House of Lords an extraordinary example of 
contemporary opinion. 'The Church of England,' 
so the Globe asserted, 92 'as by law established, is 
emphatically a creature of this world. It is 
impossible to affix any intelligible character to her 
profession or practice unless we bear steadily in 
mind that she is essentially a machine for embody- 
ing the spiritual element in the changing public 
opinion of the day, and not a contrivance for 
transmitting sacraments, or defining creeds.' 
The doughty Mr. Faithfull was urging in the 
House of Commons that Church and nation were 

so See my paper on The Political Theory of the Disruption printed 
in this volume. 

i The Oxford Counter-Eeformation in Short Studies, IV, 185. 
2 Hansard, 3d Series, Vol. CXVIII, p. 552. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 89 

synonymous terms, and that the nation might 
dispose freely of its property; he had no high 
conception of office-bearers in the Church who 
were merely 'the arbitrary choice of the Crown or 
of certain individuals who had the right of 
appointing them.' 93 To assert that the Church 
had any 'absolute and unalienable rights,' Lord 
Brougham told the House of Lords, 94 was a 'gross 
and monstrous anomaly' since it would make 
impossible the supremacy of Parliament. The 
argument of Dr. Arnold against the admission of 
'Jews or any other avowed unbelievers in Christ' 
into Parliament was based on the fact that in such 
an event 'Parliament can not be the legislature 
of the Church, not being an assembly of Chris- 
tians ; and as there is no other Church legislature 
to be found under our actual constitution, the 
government of the Church will be de jure ex- 
tinct, ' 95 an unqualified acceptance, even if on high 
grounds, of the fullest Erastianism. 'The House,' 
Joseph Hume complacently remarked in 1823, 98 
' . . . must be well aware that there was no precise 
authority in the Scriptures for any particular 

as Hansard, New Series, Vol. XVIII, p. 185, April 16, 1833. One 
imagines how this would have been greeted by Newman and Hurrell 
Froude. 

* Hansard, New Series, Vol. XIX, p. 991, July 19, 1833. 

95 Quoted in Wilfrid Ward, W. G. Ward and the Oxford Movement, 
p. 378. 

98 Hansard, New Series, Vol. VIII, p. 368, March 4, 1823. He is 
speaking of the Irish church, but he would of course have applied the 
doctrine to that of England, and doubtless he was speaking with the 
support of the Utilitarians. 



90 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

establishment ; it was altogether a civil institution, 
the creature of the law; and by every rule of 
reason, the same authority that created could 
alter, nay! could even annul it altogether.' Nor 
was the purport of such doctrines mistaken by the 
more high-minded bishops of the time. 'The 
legislature, in fact,' wrote Lloyd of Oxford to his 
old pupil, Sir Robert Peel, 97 'say to the Church of 
England : so long as we guarantee you your prop- 
erty, we will take for ourselves the right of 
controlling your discipline, and of preventing you 
from exercising any spiritual power over your own 
members.' It is a villainous argument, and as 
oppressive as it is mean. ' 

It is sufficiently clear that between such an atti- 
tude as this, and that of the Tractarians, there 
could be no compromise. If the Church of England 
was to fulfil the function assigned to it by the 
Globe, and do no more than mirror in itself the 
shifting gusts of popular opinion on religious 
questions the notion of a dogmatic basis must be 
abandoned. What to men like Newman were its 
very roots would have to be torn up. There would 
be room for the continuous exercise of private 
judgment and influence to the Tractarians essen- 
tially a dangerous thing. 98 There would be 'frater- 
nisation' with 'Protestants of all sorts' which, in 
the matter of the Jerusalem bishopric Newman 

87 Memoirs of Sir Robert Peel, Vol. I, p. 84. 

8 Cf. Newman's Correspondence, Vol. II, p. 310. The letter to a 
'lady of excitable temperament.' 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 91 

called 'a fearful business.' 99 It would have preju- 
diced what they deemed the essential thing in 
Anglicanism the title to be a branch of the 
Apostolic Church. 100 State control to them was 
essentially a handle to novelty itself among the 
most deadly of religious sins. 'If the English 
Church,' wrote Newman to the Bishop of Ox- 
ford, 101 'is to enter upon a new course and assume 
a new aspect, it will be more pleasant to me here- 
after to think that I did not suffer so grievous an 
event to happen without bearing witness against 
it.' They were anxious, moreover, to emphasise 
their complete dissociation from temporal con- 
cerns, even such as were concerned with the pos- 
sessions of the Church. 102 Their only reason, 
indeed, for not * dreading' alliance with the State 
was the fact that they simultaneously emphasised 
their determination to maintain 'the integrity of 
the Church's rights and privileges.' 103 Their 
relations were being continuously altered by the 
civil power and it was 'the duty of the Church to 
demand corresponding alterations' in favour of 
the prevention of any extra-ecclesiastical inter- 
ference. 104 So eager are they for the rigid defi- 
nition of doctrine that, as they urge, 105 'the 

Correspondence, II, 315, letter to J. W. Bowden. 

100 Cf. Correspondence, II, 323, letter to the Bishop of Oxford. 

101 Loc. cit. 

102 Correspondence, II, 4. 

103 ibid., II, 16. 

i* Op. cit., II, p. 23. The reference to Warburton's Alliance between 
Church and State in this letter is very significant. 
105 Op. cit., II, 77. 



92 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

abandonment of State prosecutions for blas- 
phemy, etc. . . . and the disordered state of the 
Christian Knowledge Society, where books are 
taken cognisance of and condemned, render it 
desirable that there should be some really working 
Court of heresy and false doctrine . . . the chief 
advantage of this would be its practical curb upon 
the exercise of the king's power . . . the whole 
Church would be kept in order . . . the theological 
law of the Church must be revived, and eccle- 
siastical law, moreover. ' They are anxious to take 
patronage out of the hands of the Crown, on the 
ground that it encroaches on the action of the 
Archbishops. 106 They expect the probable aban- 
donment of Church by State and ask how it may 
best be builded in the hearts of the people; 107 for 
the Church is essentially a divine institution 'with 
nothing to hope or fear from Whig or Conservative 
governments, or from bishops, or from peers, or 
from courts, or from other visible power. We 
must trust our own f)0o<s that is, what is unseen, 
and its unseen Author." 08 Where people shrink 
from the Catholicity of their doctrine as ' implying 
want of affection for our National Church' they 
are bidden 'remind them that you take the Na- 
tional Church, but only you do not take it from 
the Reformation. In order to kindle love of the 
National Church and yet to inculcate a Catholic 

ice LOG. cit., II, 160, letter to Keble. 
io7 Op. cit., II, 166. 
IDS Op. cit., II, 216. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 93 

tone, nothing else is necessary but to take our 
Church in the Middle Ages' 109 that is, to take the 
Church at a time when the Tractarians believed it 
to be pure from the corruption of the State control 
introduced by Henry VIII. They object to an 
effort after Church comprehension which does not 
include 'public revocation' by dissenters, 'of their 
wicked errors.' 110 Even should the State Church 
remain there would be special and peculiar ground 
for its retention. It would be because a visible 
Church existed upon earth upon which all States 
should depend and by which they should be 
guided. Within her sphere the Church would 
retain her independence and the State would 
refuse to assist those who were hostile to her 
claims. It was an alliance of two kingdoms; 111 
nor were there wanting those who were prepared 
to assert that the Church was far from being the 
inferior power. 112 So moderate a man as Dean 
Church thought that it might urge the deposition 
of kings, and in a choice between a weak church 
system and one with the pretensions of Gregory 

109 Op. cit., II, 308. 

no Op. cit., II, 329. 

in So at least I would summarise Mr. Gladstone 's State in its Rela- 
tions with the Church though, as Bagehot (Collected Works, III, 294) 
whimsically said, he defended it 'mistily.' I assume it more or less met 
with Tractarian approval. It was mainly influenced by James Hope and 
W. Palmer of Worcester; and Newman thought that it would do good. 
Morley, I, 135. 

112 Cf. Ward, Ideal of a Christian Church, p. 49; and compare the 
remarkable letter to Manning written in 1844 by Dean Church. Purcell, 
I, 696. 



94 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

VII and Innocent III, he approves of the latter 's 
decision. 113 

It is a tremendous and brilliant plea for eccle- 
siastical freedom that is clearly born from the 
passionate sense of a corporate church. The 
Tractarians were anxious, so to speak, to delimit 
its boundaries that the exclusiveness of its char- 
acter might become the more apparent. They 
insist on a rejection of all doctrine that encroaches 
upon its independence. They desire to proclaim 
definitely the character of its doctrine and to insist 
on the acceptance of that doctrine so that none 
save those who felt as they did might be its 
members. They were eager to control Church 
patronage and Church discipline 114 for the same 
reasons as those urged by Presbyterian theorists 
because the Church only can deal effectually with 
ecclesiastical matters. Since they do not possess 
the safeguards which make possible such self- 
control, 'it may obviously be the duty of church- 
men in mere self-defence to expose and protest 
against their destitute and oppressed condition. ni5 
They need these things because the Church must 
possess unity, and unity can not be obtained if 
they allow the play of private fancy about its 
dogmas. 116 Everywhere, too, the Tractarians 
magnify the clerical office and depreciate what- 
ever in the liturgies or doctrine seems traceable 

us See the letter quoted in the last note. 
11* Of. Tract 59. 

us The closing words of Tract 59. 
n Tract 60. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 95 

to lay influence. 117 Nor do they admit the possi- 
bility of change save in the limited degree that 
expansion may take place 'only as to whatsoever 
is read in Holy Scripture, or may be proved 
thereby '; 118 and it is rather to the declaration of 
old truth than the determination of new that they 
desire men's energies to be directed. 

That such an unconscious theory of the State 
was at the bottom of much Tractarian speculation 
becomes the more obvious when one examines those 
times at which the leaders of the movement judged 
themselves to have special cause for resentment 
against the government of the day. Keble's 
sermon in 1833 was nothing so much as the casting 
off of a nation which by following false gods had 
been guilty of grave heresy. 119 Mr. Golightly, 
having urged Newman to arouse an indignant 
activity among the Irish clergy, goes on to beseech 
him not to be too moderate in what he says of the 
Establishment. 'One of your principles,' he 
wrote, 120 'I own I do not like; you protest " against 
doing anything directly to separate Church and 
State. " I would do the same, perhaps, in ordinary 
times; but, when the State takes upon herself to 

1" Cf. for instance Tract 71, the discussion of the liturgy and the 
account of the quarrel between the Upper and Lower Houses of Con- 
vocation in 1689. It is perhaps significant that the stoutest Erastian of 
recent times, Sir William Harcouort, should have been the firm upholder 
of lay influence. See his Lawlessness in the National Church (1899). 

us See Pusey 's Letter to the Bishop of Oxford, p. 19 ; though in 
Newman's Essay on Development this becomes capable of formidable 
modification. 

us The very title of his sermon seems to express this feeling. 

120 Newman 's Correspondence, Vol. I, p. 392. 



96 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

decide, and that without consulting the Church, 
how many bishops are necessary for the superin- 
tendence of the clergy, and the clergy are cowardly 
or ignorant enough to submit to her decisions, it 
appears to me that the time for separation is come.' 
Though Newman is eager for the retention of the 
Establishment he writes to F. Rogers that 'the 
State has deserted us/ and that 'if the destructives 
go much further in their persecution of us e.g., if 
they made Arnold a bishop I might consider it 
wrong to maintain that position longer, much as I 
should wish to do so.' 121 'They who are no Chris- 
tians themselves,' wrote Mr. Rickards to New- 
man, 122 'must not legislate on matters of religion 
for those who are Christians. ' It was the events of 
these past few months, so he told Hurrell Froude, 123 
which brought to Newman the realisation that with 
most Englishmen 'the Church is essentially a 
popular institution, and the past English union 
of it with the State has been a happy anomaly.' 
How passionate was the sense of resentment 
against the State the reader of Mr. Palmer's 
fascinating narrative will not fail to detect. 124 The 
Address to the Archbishop of Canterbury, for 
which he was responsible, was well understood to 
have no other significance than this. 125 

121 Ibid., I, 396. 

122 ibid., I, 399. 

123 ibid., I, 403. 

12* See his Narrative of Events, pp. 44-46. 

125 In this connexion the letter quoted in Mr. Palmer 's appendix 
at p. 217 is of deep interest. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 97 

Not less clearly does this vivid corporate sense 
appear on the two occasions when Dr. Hampden 
was made a protagonist in the drama. It has 
already been noted that his appointment it was 
which made the Tractarians from a scattered band 
of enthusiasts into a party. 126 For whatever merits 
Dr. Hampden may have possessed, he represented 
in the highest possible degree those latitudinarian 
principles against which the Oxford Movement 
was the incarnate protest. 'He had just re- 
asserted/ wrote Church, 127 'that he looked upon 
creeds, and all the documents which embodied the 
traditional doctrine, and collective thought of the 
Church, as invested by ignorance and prejudice 
with an authority which was without foundation.' 
He had, in fact, no sense whatever of its corporate- 
ness, and no respect for its history. He regarded 
its creeds and dogmas as matter not for belief but 
for speculation. He did not realise, as Dean 
Church so strikingly said, 128 'that the Church is 
so committed to them that he can not enter on his 
destructive criticism without having to excuse, 
not one only, but all these beliefs, and without 
soon having to face the question whether the whole 
idea of the Church, as a real and divinely ordained 
society, with a definite doctrine and belief is not 
a delusion.' That Dr. Hampden did answer that 
question in the affirmative does not admit of 

i 2 Above, p. 6. 

127 The Oxford Movement, p. 158. 

izs Op. cit., p. 163. 



98 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

doubt; but lie was suspect because, Scripture 
apart, all other authority was to him matter for 
human inference. The appointment, however well 
meant, was a mistaken one; but what was far 
more significant was the way in which, despite 
almost unanimous protest in Oxford, Dr. Hamp- 
den was forced upon the University. 129 'Again/ 
said Newman, 130 'the Ministry will be at open war 
with the Church/ The idea of a petition to the 
king which frightened the Archbishop called 
forth a protest from a nettled Prime Minister who 
unwarily betrayed the realities behind a legal fic- 
tion. 131 Convocation protested against the appoint- 
ment, though the Proctors vetoed the proposal. 132 
Almost immediately, and very significantly, New- 
man writes of the 'probability of the whole subject 
of Church authority, power, claims, etc., etc., being 
re-opened.' 133 'It was,' said Dean Church of the 
appointment, 134 'a palpable instance of what the 
Church had to expect' when her guardianship was 
taken from her own hands. Eleven years later 
Lord John Russell, neglecting the obvious warning 
of 1836, and, seemingly, with the thought of paying 
a tribute to the liberalism of Arnold in his mind, 135 
appointed Hampden to the bishopric of Hereford. 

129 Cf . Church, op. cit., p. 169. 

iso Correspondence, Vol. II, p. 150. 

isi Op. cit., 161 (letter of Archdeacon Froude). 

132 Letters of J. B. Mosley, p. 54. 

133 Op. cit., I, 166. 

is* The Oxford Movement, p. 177. 

iss Liddon, Life of Pusey, Vol. II, p. 158. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 99 

To accept it, protested Pusey, 136 'was to connive 
at heresy.' They attempted to open up the whole 
question of Dr. Hampden's orthodoxy but in vain. 
Yet they learned certain important lessons. 'It 
is certainly humbling enough,' Pusey wrote, 137 
'. . . if there is no help whatever, if any person, 
however unfit, whether on moral or doctrinal 
grounds, be chosen by the Minister of the day for 
a Bishop, except in a resistance to the law.' 'The 
injury therefore to the Church of England,' said 
Mr. Baddeley in arguing for a mandamus in the 
Court of King's Bench, 138 'if its pastors are thus 
to be forced upon it at the mere beck of the Prime 
Minister of the day, will be incalculable. ' For the 
Church would lose its identity unless some means 
were taken to remove it from control by the chance 
turns of the political wheel. That, surely, was 
what Newman had meant in 1836 when he asked 
Pusey if it were not 'very clear that the English 
Church subsists in the State, and has no internal 
consistency (in matter of fact, I do not say in 
theory), to keep it together, is bound into one by 
the imposition of articles and the inducement of 
State protection, not by rj0o<s and a common 
faith ? If so, can we regret very much that a deceit 
should be detected.' 139 

Certain parliamentary legislation dealing with 



II, 160. 
is? Life, II, 165. 

138 See Jelf, Report of E. v. Canterbury (Archbishop). The whole 
case is most instructive. 

139 Life of Pusey, Vol. I, p. 368. 



100 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

the Church at this time called forth opinions of 
some importance. They protested against using 
the churches for the announcement of dissenters' 
marriages. 140 When, in 1836, it was proposed to 
abolish the ancient bishopric of Sodor and Man, 
they urged not merely that it was an unjustifiable 
interference with established ecclesiastical right, 
but also that the Commission was acting in tyranni- 
cal fashion 141 the fact that the see did not carry 
with it membership in the House of Lords they 
regarded as a valuable precedent. 142 In 1838, Phil- 
potts of Exeter protested against the Church 
Discipline Bill of that year in significant fashion. 
He condemned it because ecclesiastical authority 
seemed to him independent of the sanction of the 
temporal laws 'which merely adds temporal conse- 
quences to the ecclesiastical censures, the infliction 
of which is part of the power of the Keys, vested 
in the Church by its divine founder, and exercised 
by it in the earliest ages. It follows that the State, 
though it may refuse to add a civil sanction to the 
exercise of the spiritual authority, can not either 
grant that authority, which does not spring from 
any human source, or take it away from any one 
in whom the divine constitution of the Church has 
vested it;' 143 and it is in a similar sense that the 
Bishop of London protested against the Church 

140 Newman's Correspondence, II, 27, 78. 

1*1 Op. tit., II, 170-171. 

"2 Op. cit., I, 169. 

i*3 Hansard, 3d Series, Vol. XL VIII, June 4, 1839, p. 1338. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 101 

Discipline of 1850. 144 The consistency of these 
protests is beyond all question. They connect as 
closely with the ^0os of the Oxford Movement 
as the Claim of Right in 1842 with the whole 
character of Presbyterian history. 

But nowhere is the whole nature of that ^0o? 
so apparent as in the controversy which raged 
round the Gorham judgment. 'It is,' Mr. Glad- 
stone wrote to Manning, 145 'a stupendous issue/ 
Here was a definite declaration on the part of the 
State as to what must be taken to be the true doc- 
trine of the Church of England. The judgment 
caused widespread consternation. It seemed to 
make the Church what an able writer later termed 
' simply a religious body to which the State con- 
cedes certain rights, dignities and possessions not 
enjoyed by non-established churches, and over 
which the State, in return for this concession, 
exercises an authority from which non-established 
Churches are free.' 146 It was a denial of the 
Church's right to declare its own belief to which, 
so Pusey urged, Magna Charta was the pledge; 
t if the State,' he told a great London audience, 147 
'will not, as Magna Charta pledges it, allow that 
"the Church should have liberties inviolate," we 
must ask that the State will set us free from itself. ' 
A striking protest was drawn up against the right 
of the Privy Council 'practically to exercise in 

i Hansard, 3d Series, Vol. Ill, June 3, 1850, p. 600. 
"5 Morley, I, 280. 

i* See an able essay in the Guardian for October 12, 1887. 
1*7 Life, II, 249. 



103 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

spiritual matters a jurisdiction for which they are 
utterly incompetent, and which never has been, 
nor even can be, confided to them by the Church. n48 
Mr. Maskell, the well-known liturgical scholar, 
wrote a pamphlet urging that not even a bench of 
bishops could deal with the matter, so long as their 
authority was not derived from the Church. 1 " 
'It was now,' writes Pusey 's biographer, 160 , * defi- 
nitely asked whether the changes which had been 
assented to on the part of the Church of England 
three centuries ago were such as to forfeit her 
claim to be a part of the Church of Christ. ' Pusey 
himself wrote a laborious tract to prove, as he 
hoped, that ecclesiastical authority alone could 
decide doctrine. A priest, so he urged, who appeals 
to a lay court from his bishop 's decision is degrad- 
ing his office. Manning, Robert Wilberforce and 
Mill of Cambridge, drew up a protest which 
repudiated all acceptance of the royal supremacy 
in any save a strictly temporal sense. 151 Gladstone 
repudiated all idea of a commission to decide 
doctrine which did not originate with, and depend 
upon, the Church. 152 Philpotts of Exeter actually 
renounced communion with the Archbishop of 
Canterbury for his share in the judgment. 153 
The reason for this indignation is perfectly 

1*8 Life of Pusey, II, 254. 
"9 Life of Pusey, II, 256. 
iso Loc. cit. 

i5i Life of Manning, I, 540. 
162 Life of Manning, I, 534. 
issMorley's Gladstone, 1, 281. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 103 

clear. The Church of England would cease to be 
a separate society did she permit such invasions 
of her proper sphere. ' There can be no doubt/ 
wrote Mr. Henry Drummond, 154 'that the Church 
of England is not organised as the Church and 
Kingdom of Christ ought to be ; that she has ever 
been, and is now more than ever, trampled upon 
by the civil power; that having recognised fully 
only two sacraments, one of these has been pro- 
nounced by the civil power to be useless, in other 
words, no sacrament at all, and that consequently 
she is almost unchurched altogether.' l Either the 
governing power in the State must allow the 
objectionable decision to be reviewed by proper 
authority and the usurpation to be abated for the 
future,' wrote the gentle Keble, 155 'or the governing 
power in the Church must at all hazards demur to 
the State's interference and disregard its enact- 
ments.' 'To all calling themselves churchmen,' 
he urged again, 156 'we may say, is there not a 
treasure of Sacred Truth, and a living Body 
entrusted with that treasure ? And can it be right 
for any consideration to make over the trust to 
those who are not of the Body? Again, to all 
candid persons of every creed we may say, Is it 
not a part of Religious Liberty for a Religious 
Body to declare its own doctrine; or, if its civil 

154 EemarTcs on Dr. Wiseman 's sermon on the Gorham case, London, 
1850. 

IBS Church Matters in 1850: A Call to Speak Out, p. 8. 

156 LOC. tit., p. 31. 



104 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

and social position equitably interfere with its 
freedom in this respect, to be allowed at least a 
choice which of the two it will forego?' "The 
imposition of any doctrine by such an evidently 
human institution as that (the Crown),' wrote 
Mr. W. J. E. Bennett to Lord John Russell, 157 
'would be the very severest of tyranny.' 'Men 
have not yet learned,' the same clergyman com- 
plained again, 168 'to separate the spiritual power 
of the Church from the temporal . . . the royal 
supremacy in civil matters, as well as in eccle- 
siastical matters, as long as they are merely 
ecclesiastical and not spiritual ; also in all temporal 
matters, causes and trials, arising out of them we 
cheerfully acknowledge: but the royal supremacy 
in the doctrines of our Blessed Lord, in the dis- 
cipline of the Church within, in the regulation of 
her pastors, in the enunciation of her doctrines, 
we utterly and explicitly deny.' 'If the decision 
of the Judicial Committee be the voice of the 
English Church,' protested Mr. J. M. Neale, 169 'she 
is actively committed to heresy. ' 

Of the meaning of such an attitude there can be 
no question; it is simply the assertion of the 
sovereignty of the Church over its own concerns. 
Naturally, this is even more vehemently asserted 
by those whom the decision drove into the Roman 

157 A letter to the Bt. Hon. Lord J. Eussell on the Present Persecu- 
tion of a certain portion of the English Church, London, 1850, p. 11. 

IBS Op. cit., p. 49. 

159 A Few Words of Hope on the present Crisis in the English Church, 
London, 1850, p. 5. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 105 

Catholic Church. 'He found,' wrote Mr. Allies, 160 
'that supremacy of the civil power to consist in a 
supreme jurisdiction over the Establishment in 
matters both of faith and of discipline, and in the 
derivation of Episcopal mission and jurisdiction 
not as to their origin indeed, but as to their exer- 
cise from the Crown or the nation. The writer 
at once felt that he must repudiate either that 
supremacy, or every claim of the Church, that is 
the one divinely-constituted society to which the 
possession of the truth is guaranteed, . . . the 
royal supremacy and the Church of God are two 
ideas absolutely incompatible and contradictory.' 
For assuredly a Church that claims to derive its 
character from divine institution can not admit of 
human interference. What she is, she is by virtue 
of her origin, nor does she need the aid of the 
State to complete her social powers. This was 
very distinctly proclaimed by Manning. 'The 
Church of England,' he said, 161 'then being thus an 
integral whole, possesses within itself the fountain 
of doctrine and discipline, and has no need to go 
beyond itself for succession, orders, mission, juris- 
diction and the office to declare to its own members 
in matters of faith, the intention of the Catholic 
Church.' He emphasised the fact that the royal 
supremacy was in no sense 'spiritual or eccle- 
siastical understanding the word ecclesiastical 

io The See of St. Peter, London, 1850, p. 8. 

181-4 letter to the Bt. Rev. Ashurst Turner, Lord Bishop of Chi- 
chester, London, 1850, p. 5. 



106 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

to mean anything beyond a civil power accidentally 
applied to ecclesiastical persons or causes. To 
make this as clear as I can, I would further add 
that I know of no supremacy in ecclesiastical 
matters inherent in the civil power or prince but 
either (1) such power as all princes, Christian or 
heathen, alike possess; or, (2) such as has been 
received by delegation from the Church itself.' 162 
The claim to complete independence could hardly 
be more incisively stated. Nor would he have any 
compromises. 'It seems to me,' he wrote of Mr. 
Gladstone's proposal, 163 'a plan to amuse and lull 
real intentions.' He felt himself compelled to 
admit that laws he held divine had been violated. 
'My contest now,' he told his sister, 164 'is with the 
State and the world, with secular churchmen, and 
those who of a divine would make it a human 
society, or at the best a Protestant Communion.' 
'A body,' he said again, 165 'which teaches under the 
authority of human interpretation descends to the 
level of a human society,' and he felt keenly that 
the whole fjBos of the Church would disappear 
were the bishops to betray their trust and admit 
the judgment. He felt that 'all Divine authority 
in England is at stake,' and urged to Robert 
Wilberforce the necessity of bearing witness 
'against the whole Reformation schism, which is 

i2 Op. cit., p. 6. 

163 Life, I, 539. 

is* Life, I, 547. 

ice Letter to Rev. Ashurst Turner, p. 15. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 107 

a national and corporate private judgment.' 166 
Obviously his mind turned more and more against 
the Erastian nature of the sixteenth century settle- 
ment. 'Surely/ he wrote a little later, 167 'the 
Reformation was a Tudor statute carried by 
violence and upheld by political power; and now 
that the State is divorcing the Anglican Church, 
it is dissolving.' The Reformation had shut out 
'the authority of the living and universal church' 
for three hundred years until it was no longer a 
Church of Christ. 168 And it was essentially the 
implicit Erastianism of the Gorham judgment 
which for him was decisive. ' The violation of the 
doctrine of baptism,' he wrote in his diary nearly 
forty years later, 169 'was of less gravity to me than 
the violation of the divine office of the Church by 
the supremacy of the Crown in Council.' 

This same feeling clearly underlay the con- 
version of Dodsworth. 170 The attitude of the 
Establishment he held to be 'simply one of non- 
resistance, of acquiescence in what the State pleases 
to dictate to it, n71 and therefore was no part of the 
Church at all. It is plain, he argued, 172 'that the 
whole spiritual supremacy over the Church, en- 

i Life, I, 555. 

i<" Loc. tit., I, 556. 

IBS Loc. tit., I, 565. 

169 Loc. cit., I, 558, n. 1. 

ITO For Manning's opinion of him see Purcell's Life, I, 547. For 
Pusey 's relations with him see Liddon 's Life of Pusey, III, 263 S. 

171 See his Anglicanism Considered in its Results, p. 5, London, 1851. 
It was written after he became a Eoman Catholic. 

"2 ibid., p. 56. 



108 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

joyed by the Pope before the Reformation . . ; 
has been transferred to the Crown and is now 
exercised by it, or rather by the State of which the 
Crown is the executive.' It does not matter that 
this power is exercised constitutionally since 'this 
would not relieve men's consciences, which are 
compelled to reclaim against the spiritual juris- 
diction of the Crown, or of the State, in whatever 
way exercised.' 173 It is to enter the one society 
which can claim the possession of Catholic prin- 
ciples that he is compelled to leave the Church 
of England. The Church has lost its 7?0os as it 
has lost its constitution and its freedom. 17 * 



Ill 

The Oxford Movement, so far as the working 
out of the principles of 1833 are concerned, ended 
with the defection of Manning. Yet because the 
principles for which it stood lie buried as deeply 
as the origins of the Church itself they are no less 
living to-day. If the State has ceased to invade 
the functions of the Church with the ruthless 
determination of the last century, Erastianism 
is far from dead, and so long as it remains 
Tractarianism can not die. For, in its essence, 
Tractarianism is essentially the plea of the cor- 
porate body which is distinct from the State to a 
separate and free existence. It is a denial that 

173 Ibid., p. 61. 

174 Ibid., p. 65 ff. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 109 

the members of the Church are as its members 
no more than individuals, living under the all- 
inclusive sovereignty of the Crown. Certain 
churchmen have striven increasingly to stress its 
corporateness, its sense of a real life to which it 
is of right entitled. The Church has striven to 
free itself from Newman's reproach that it is 
1 nothing more nor less than an establishment, a 
department of government, or a function or opera- 
tion of the State without a substance, a mere 
collection of officials, depending on and living on 
the supreme civil power. Its unity and person- 
ality are gone . . .' 1T5 Where the hand of the 
State has seemed to imperil the right of the 
Church to its own life, distinguished churchmen, 
willing to repudiate the State-connexion have not 
been wanting. 'Once free from State-control,' 
wrote Father MacKonochie, 176 'we shall begin, I 
trust, to feel as a body and not merely as indi- 
viduals, that we belong to a 'kingdom which is not 
of this world.' Our bishops will know that their 
power is that of servants of Christ, not Lords of 
Parliament. We of the clergy shall be free from 
the temptations to worldly gain and ambition with 
which an Establishment surrounds men; and our 
people will receive or reject us for Christ's sake, 
not as ministers appointed by the State. ' 

ITS Ward, Life of Newman, Vol. I, p. 234. The quotation is from the 
Lectures on the Difficulties of Anglicans. 

176 See a letter in the London Times, January 11, 1869. 



110 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

A similar spirit is to be observed among those 
who have been responsible for the growth of 
ritualism in the English Church. It was Dean 
Church who condemned what he called the 'short 
and easy' method of dealing with the ritualists on 
the ground that 'English clergymen are ministers 
of an Established Church, and are therefore as 
much bound to submit to all that Parliament 
orders as any other public functionary.' 'If the 
Church be supposed to have an existence and 
powers of its own,' he said, 177 'besides what the 
State gives it, and, however closely joined with 
the State, to be something which the State, though 
it may claim to regulate, may neither create nor 
destroy then the debate is open whether the 
conditions of union and co-operation have been 
observed on either side.' The Royal Commission 
on Ecclesiastical Discipline of 1906 contains a 
series of comments on the Erastianism of the 
Supremacy of the Crown which might well date 
back to 1833. Clergyman after clergyman unhesi- 
tatingly rejected the right of the Judicial Com- 
mittee to deal with matters of ritual. 'I deny,' 
is the usual formula, 178 'the competence of that 
tribunal as a court of final appeal in matters 
relating to the doctrine, discipline, and ceremonial 
of the Church.' Lord Hugh Cecil, in his very 
remarkable evidence, insisted on the distinction 
between Church and State. 'It is untruthful 

177 Life and Letters of B. W. Church, p. 284. 

178 Report, Vol. I, e.g., pp. 15, 18, 27, 44, 48, 53, etc. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 111 

and pernicious,' he said, 179 'to go on making 
believe that the Church and the State are one 
set of people considered in different aspects. They 
must be now thought of as distinct bodies. ' From 
that unhesitating rejection of Arnoldism, he drew 
the obvious conclusion. 'I could not, so far 
as I am concerned, approve of any settlement 
which still left it possible for any one except the 
bishops to define the doctrine of the Church in the 
course of an ecclesiastical judgment and to make 
that definition binding upon the whole body of the 
Church.' 180 'For my action as a priest of the 
Church,' one witness informed the Commission, 181 
'I am responsible to the bishop alone, to whom I 
am ready at all times to give account, not to the 
Privy Council. ' Mr. G. J. Talbot, one of the most 
distinguished of ecclesiastical lawyers, urged that 
the Judicial Committee as an ecclesiastical tribunal 
was theoretically indefensible and practically a 
failure. 182 The Bishop of Exeter drew an interest- 
ing distinction between the legal and moral sover- 
eignty of Parliament. 'While according to our 
constitution,' he said, 183 'Parliament has unlimited 
power, the effect of its legislation must depend on 
the moral power behind it, and churchmen gener- 
ally will distinguish between legislation invited by 
the Church, and legislation merely forced upon 

"9 Beport, Vol. II, p. 216, Q. 10510. 

o Beport, Vol. II, p. 221, Q. 10587. 

isi Beport, Vol. I, p. 36, Letter of Rev. G. Tremenheere. 

2 Beport, Vol. II, p. 447, Q. 14120. 

i8s Beport, Vol. II, p. 484, Q. 14706. 



112 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

the Church from without.' The Bishop of Bir- 
mingham repudiated the sovereignty of the State 
outside the temporal sphere in no less uncom- 
promising fashion. 'The Church/ he said, 184 
'. . . has become only one of many religious 
bodies in the State . . . and in consequence the 
legislative and judicial authorities of the State 
have ceased to be in any real sense . . . capable 
of claiming the allegiance of churchmen in spiritual 
matters.' The attitude was that of Bishop Blom- 
field in 1850. 'I rest my case,' he said, 185 'on the 
inherent and indefeasible right of the Church to 
teach and maintain the truth by means of her 
spiritual pastors and rulers, a right inherent in 
her original constitution.' We are clearly dealing 
again with the notion of a perfecta societas set 
over against the State. There is no room in such 
conception for that stern Erastianism of Sir 
William Harcourt when he urged, with reference 
to this controversy, 186 'if there is to be such a 
(national) church, it must be based upon national 
authority, and the only national authority which 
we recognise is that of the Crown and of Parlia- 
ment.' The very strength of such contrast is a 
measure of the Tractarian achievement. 

It is not a little curious that more attention 
should not have been paid to the remarkable 
analogy between the Oxford Movement and the 

is* Vol. II. Cf . Report, p. 499, Q. 14953. 

IBS See Lord H. Cecil's evidence. 

188 Lawlessness and the National Church, 1899, p. 13. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 113 

Disruption of 1843 in the Established Church of 
Scotland. 187 Each was essentially an anti-Erastian 
movement. It was against an all-absorptive State 
that each group of men was contending. There is 
a striking temporal parallel between the two move- 
ments. That of Oxford, in the narrower sense, 
begins in 1833 and ends with the conversion of 
Newman in 1845 ; that of which Chalmers was the 
distinguished leader begins in 1834 with the 
abolition by the General Assembly of lay patron- 
age, and ends in 1843 with the secession of those 
who refuse to accept what they term an invasion 
of their peculiar province by the State. In each 
case, as was well enough admitted by contempo- 
raries, the attempt was made and in the case, 
particularly of Presbyterianism, this lay at the 
very root of its theory to work out a doctrine of 
the Church which, neglecting the State, gave the 
Church the general organisation of a perfect 
society. In each case, that attempt was resisted by 
Parliament on the one hand, and by the Courts on 
the other. The State claimed a sovereignty against 
which, as it deemed, no part of itself might contend. 
But to this it was in each case retorted that 
Church and State were in essence distinct from 
one another, that each was a self-sufficing society, 
into the province of which the other might not 
wander. Both to Chalmers and Newman it seemed 
very clear that to admit a right of control on the 
part of the State was to deny that divine consti- 

187 See the Political Theory of the Disruption, supra. 



114 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

tution to which their churches laid claim. They 
would have urged, with Warburton, that the two 
societies are 'sovereign and independent of each 
other ; ' but they would have denied his conclusion 
that ' their joint forces must co-operate thus to 
apply and enforce the influence of religion' 188 if in 
that union the sovereignty of the Church was 
impaired. If, as seems probable, the effort of 
Chalmers was more logical and more consistent 
than the somewhat chaotic antagonism of the 
Tractarians, that was rather because he had 
inherited a definite theory of Church and State, 
which Newman and his followers had to hammer 
out for themselves. Both Chalmers and Newman 
believed in a purified Establishment; 189 but each 
also asserted roundly that the benefit was derived 
by the State rather than the Church. It was when 
it was conceived that the fact of a statutory 
alliance involved also the idea of a statutory 
control, that they found themselves compelled to 
abandon the Church of their origin. 190 

It was a definition of the Church that the 
Tractarians attempted, and they found almost 
immediately that to define its identity was to assert 

iss See his Alliance of Church and State, p. 86. 

189 Chalmers himself actually lectured on their benefits in London in 
1838. 

1 90 Though of course Newman claimed that in 1845 he was joining 
the true Catholic Church, just as Chalmers looked upon the Tree Church 
as the true Presbyterian Church. The other had abandoned the Head- 
ship of Christ in his view and had therefore lost its identity with the 
Church of Knox and Melville which he still represented. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 115 

its exclusiveness. If it was created by God it could 
not be controlled by man ; if it was created by God, 
it was not subject to the ordinances of a man- 
created institution like the State. They would 
never have accepted the federalism of Nicholas of 
Cusa, with its implied admission that the State 
might reform the Church; 191 between jus publicum 
and jus sacrum they drew a firm distinction. In 
reality, their position is singularly medieval : it is 
almost an adequate description of their attitude 
to the State to say that it is a Guelfic attitude. It 
was against the pretensions put forward in the 
name of the Prince by men like John of Paris 192 
that they were contending, of Wyclif, 193 of Hus, 194 
and of Gregory of Heimberg. 195 For, in all these 
cases, the position of the controversy between Pope 
and Emperor had led the imperialists to assume 
the superiority of kingly power, and, as a conse- 
quence, the right of the Crown to deal as it would 
with the Church; just as Lord John Russell in 
1833 implicitly assumed the right of the State to 
deal with the Irish Church. Marsilio of Padua's 
claim that the Church is no more than an institu- 
tion within the State, 196 was exactly the expression 
of the Whig government's attitude. With him it 

191 Works, De Concordantia Catholica, 11. c. 40. 

192 See his Tractatus de potestate regia et papali in Goldast, II, p. 
108 ff., esp. c. 21. 

193 Cf . De Officio Eegis, esp. pp. 34-36, 137, 138. 

194 Goldast, I, 232-242. 
i9B Goldast, I, 559-560. 

196 Of. Defensor Pacis, cc. 5-6. 



116 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

would have said that the ecclesiastical sovereign 
was the body of the faithful, just as he would, 
with their approval, identify the faithful with 
the nation as a whole. The whole foundation of 
Tractarianism lies in the fact that this had ceased 
to be the case. They argued, therefore, that the 
change meant logically the impossibility of con- 
fiding the government of the Church to those 
without its fold. This sense they felt so passion- 
ately is already fully developed in Thomas 
Aquinas, 197 and in him, as in them, this led to the 
common notion of the Church itself as a State ; 198 
and in the Middle Ages not even the stoutest 
imperialist denied the truth of this, even when he 
repudiated its connexion with worldly concerns. 198 
So that it is not difficult to understand the medie- 
valism of the Oxford Movement. It is therein but 
seeking its natural affiliations. If it goes back 
for its atmosphere to those beginnings of the con- 
troversy it so strikingly illustrates, that is because 
it is itself the continuator of that controversy. 
The Reformation had decided the battle in favour 
of the State, but it had secured rather independ- 
ence than sovereignty for the State and sover- 
eignty the Church could still, and does still, 
challenge. If it seems, as with the Tractarians, 
to have put aside the dreams of men like Gregory 

197 E.g., Suimna Cont. Gent., IV, 76. 

i8 E.g., the Gloss on C. 3. X. I, 41. and Hostiensis. Summa, I, 1, nr. 4. 

i9 The Somnium Vidarii, I, c. 1-16. Ockham. Dialog., I, 6, c. III. 
John of Paris, Tract, Introd. and c. 13-14. The references can be 
multiplied almost indefinitely. 






THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 117 

VII with his absorption of Church in State, 200 that 
is, as the work of W. G. Ward makes very clear, 
rather from necessity than from desire. They 
realised that the time for a world-church had 
passed away. It seemed then natural to demand 
that what remained of her mighty dominion she 
should have the right to cultivate undisturbed. 201 
It is in one significant sense alone that they have 
advanced beyond the prevalent conceptions of 
medieval thought. Where, to men like Baldus and 
Innocent IV, the Corporation of the State 
whether that State be lay or ecclesiastical is 
essentially a fictitious thing, the Tractarians had 
transcended the limited conception of personality 
as associated only with the individual life. One 
who reads the sermons of Newman, above all that 
most eloquent and most tragic of farewells before 
his Hegira to Littlemore, will not doubt that to 
him than the Church there is no life more real or 
more splendid. She is his mother; it is for her 
infinite woes that above all he has concern. In her 
is all the richness of his life, and her injury brings 
to him what is worse than desolation. Nor is that 
sense less keenly felt, even if it finds a less eloquent 
expression, in Pusey and Keble. To all of 

200 Cf. the striking phrases in the Registrum, Bk. IV, ep. II (1076), 
pp. 242-243. 

201 The introductory lecture of Dr. Figgis, From Gerson to Grotius 
works out this conception most admirably. I should say that the sub- 
stantial difference lies in the fact that the Church has become separate 
from the State to the Tractarians whereas to the medieval publicist the 
State was, in Dr. Figgis' phrase, the 'police-department of the Church.' 



118 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

them to be members of a Church was to be of 
a fellowship the more precious because in its life 
they found the mysterious oneness of a vivid 
personality. 202 

IV 

It is becoming more and more clear that the 
future trend of political theory is away from that 
attitude which bids us read all things in their 
relation to the State. Certain things that body 
will not undertake because it is not competent to 
undertake them. It will cease to attempt the 
control of religious doctrine. The tribunals of the 
State no less than its legislature only interfere 
with the most precious part of corporate freedom 
when, though an alien organisation, they attempt 
a perilous invasion. The Church has its history, 
its laws, its doctrines; the State can not, from a 
stunted theory of its sovereign power, attempt the 
fusion of her customs with its own. 203 It will 
rather leave her free to work out, as she best may, 
the grave and complex problems that confront her. 
From her own sense of righteousness it will wel- 
come the good. From her own right to freedom 
it will cherish the beneficent product. From a new 

202 D r . Figgis, in the brilliant little essay on Newman which he has 
printed as an appendix to his Fellowship of the Mystery has made this 
very clear. It is of course merely one result of that realism which 
Gierke and Maitland have taught us to understand. 

2os As in Kev. v. Dibden [1910], P. Q. 57; Thompson v. Dibden 
[1912], A. C. 533. The whole mass of ritual cases is of course another 
aspect of the same problem. 



THEORY OF OXFORD MOVEMENT 119 

world, moreover, that has been perhaps untram- 
melled by the struggles of the old, it will learn 
certain great and significant lessons. Where civil 
right is not directly concerned, it will, as in 
America, 204 maintain that it has no jurisdiction. 
It will say that Church membership is a Church 
right not a civil right, 205 Church discipline a matter 
for the ecclesiastical tribunal. It will realise that, 
should the Church use her powers ill, she and she 
only, will suffer. She will forfeit her privileges 
not because they are conditional, and therefore 
subject to revocation, 206 but because where men are 
wronged they will renounce their membership of 
the State, be its nature lay or clerical. And the 
State will understand that the degree of her free- 
dom will be the measure of her progress. In that 
event the tragedies of Oxford will not have been 
vain. 

204 Fitzgerald v. Eobinson, 112 Mass. 371. Shannon v. Frost, 3 B. 
Mon. (Ky.), 253, 258. Dees v. Moss Point Baptist Church, 17, So. 1 
(Miss.). Waller v. Howell, 20 Misc., 236, 45 N. Y. Supp., 790. 

205 Grosvenor v. United Society of Believers, 118 Mass., 78; and even 
more striking, Fitzgerald v. Eobinson, 112 Mass. 371. Farnsworth v. 
Storrs, 5 Gush. (Mass.), 412, 416. 

2oe it is, I think, the natural deduction from Jarves and Hatheway, 
3 Johns. (N. Y.), 180; cf. Konkle v. Haven, 140 Mich. 472, 478. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE POLITICAL THEORY OF THE 
CATHOLIC REVIVAL 1 



WITH the passage of the Roman Catholic 
Relief Act of 1829, a body of men who had 
been for too long excluded from political privilege 
became once more citizens of the State. 2 The 
grounds for their exclusion had been, for the most 
part, based upon a single fact. 'The modern 
theory,' writes Lord Acton, 3 'which has swept 
away every authority except that of the State, and 
has made the sovereign power irresistible by 
multiplying those who shared it, is the enemy of 
that common freedom in which religious freedom 
is included. It condemns, as a State within the 
State, every inner group and community, class or 
corporation, administering its own affairs; and, 
by proclaiming the abolition of privileges, it 

1 The best general work on the Catholic Eevival in England is that 
of M. Thureau-Dangin : 'La Eenaissanee Catholique en Angleterre au 
XlXme siecle. ' This has been translated. To M. Thureau-Dangin, 
however, the movement is entirely non-political. 

2 The story of the emancipation may now be consulted in Monsignor 
Bernard Ward's Eve of Catholic Emancipation. It is, however, weak on 
the non-religious side. 

3 History of Freedom, p. 151. 



122 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

emancipates the subjects of every such authority, 
in order to transfer them exclusively to its own.' 
The divine right of kings, was, in fact, replaced 
by a right divine inherent in the State ; and it was 
argued that men owed to it an allegiance that 
should be undivided. But the Pope was a temporal 
sovereign, and to him, as the head of their Church, 
the Catholics owed a full allegiance. They were 
a close and united body, the typical imperium in 
imperio of which Lord Acton wrote; and it was 
perhaps logical, even if it was ungenerous, that 
men should deem it impossible for such allegiance 
to be compatible with loyalty to the British Crown.* 
That argument had, during the previous half- 
century, prevailed no less against the calm and 
splendid philosophy of Burke, than against the 
annual eloquence of Grattan. 5 Sir H. Parnell had 
summed up their unanswerable case in a single 
sentence, when he asked if Catholic emancipation 
could have other than beneficent effect. 'What/ 
he demanded, 6 'can be its certain and practical 
effect on the Catholic body at large but universal 
content and unqualified gratitude to the legislature 
that granted it "?' Yet the musty prejudices of two 
centuries, and the unthinking obstinacy of George 
III proved too strong for the principles of political 

* See, for example, Lord Redesdale in Hansard, New Series, Vol. 
XXXIV, p. 1251. 

s See Charles Butler 's tribute to him in Historical Memoirs, Vol. IV, 
p. 392. 

e Hansard, 2d Series, Vol. XXXI, p. 477. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 123 

reason, until the genius of Daniel O'Connell per- 
ceived the value of militant agitation. 7 

It was, prejudice apart, emphatically a question 
of unity of allegiance which had lain at the root 
of the Catholic difficulty. To the majority of 
statesmen and ecclesiastics there are certain 
noble exceptions Great Britain was still the 
country of 1688, 8 essentially a Protestant country 
of which the identity would be destroyed by the 
admission of Catholics to political power. The 
practical unanimity of the bishops on this ques- 
tion is little less than amazing. They seemed 
united in what Andrew Marvell confronted by 
a not dissimilar problem gaily called 'pushpin 
theology' the theory that ' there can not be a pin 
pulled out of the Church, but the State imme- 
diately totters.' 9 'The reason for adhering to 
this principle in this country/ the Bishop of 
Worcester told the House of Lords, 10 'was par- 
ticularly forcible, as the Protestant religion was 
so intimately woven with the whole system of the 
Constitution.' 'Be allegiance what it will,' said 
the Bishop of Norwich, 11 'if that allegiance is 
divided between the king of the country and the 
foreigner, the king of the country has not the 

f Monsignor Ward, op. cit., Vol. Ill, Chapters 40, 43, 46, adds much 
to our knowledge of this part of the history. 

8 Of . Mr. Eussell Smith's valuable little work, Beligious Liberty 
under Charles II and James II, especially Chapter 2. 

9 Behearsal Transposed, p. 132. 

10 Hansard, 2d Series, Vol. XL, p. 390, May 17, 1819. 

11 Op. cit., p. 395. 



124 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

share he ought to have and which in this country 
he really has from members of the Established 
Church.' 'Such exclusion,' urged the Bishop of 
Llandaff, 12 'may be justified on grounds of civil 
delinquency . . . the allegiance of the church- 
man is entire he acknowledges the king as 
supreme in matters ecclesiastical as well as 
civil . . . but if a Church is governed by a for- 
eigner who has neither dependence on, nor a 
common interest with, the king of the country, 
the civil allegiance of those who belong to that 
Church can not fail to be weakened by their eccle- 
siastical allegiance. . . . They are not so good and 
so useful members of the State as members of the 
Establishment.' It was in a similar vein that the 
Bishop of Ossory argued that by their principles 
the Catholics must attempt the destruction of the 
Established Church, which would place the State 
in grave danger. * Pushpin theology' may be; but 
it was keenly felt. 'They were,' he said, 13 'so 
intimately connected that whatever tended to 
injure the one must infallibly injure the other.' 
The principle of Lord Liverpool's uncompromis- 
ing antagonism was in no wise distinct from this 
episcopal opposition. The State had need of the 
Church, and the Revolution of 1688 had 'settled 
that the principle of our government in all its 
parts was Protestant . . . the moment you throw 
open your door to equal and general concession . . . 

12 Hansard, 2d Series, Vol. XXXVI, p. 616, May 16, 1817. 
is Hansard, loc. cit., p. 642. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 125 

Parliament will cease immediately to be a Prot- 
estant Parliament.' 14 Nor did the pamphleteers 
feel otherwise. The government, 'Julius' told the 
people of England, 15 'is not only essentially, but 
vitally Protestant. And it is thus that the admis- 
sion of persons professing Catholic tenets to 
political power, either now or at any time here- 
after becomes a thing literally impossible. ' 

The supporters of the Catholics realised quite 
clearly that the fundamental question was that of 
the nature of the State. Plunkett urged that their 
exclusion on religious grounds 'was calculated to 
impress an opinion that religion was only an 
instrument for State purposes.' 18 The constitu- 
tion was to him essentially secular in its nature. 
His attitude was very like that of Penn and the 
Tolerationists of the seventeenth century. As to 
the latter it seemed evident that 'religion is no part 
of the old English government,' 17 so to Plunkett 
the law enjoined certain duties, and whoever per- 
formed those duties was entitled to the privileges 
of citizenship. 18 Canning admitted that there had 
been a time when Catholic and Protestant had 
struggled 'to see which should wed the State and 
make her exclusively its own. But the time of 
combat had passed the Catholics tendered a 

i* Hansard, loc. cit., p. 647. 

is See his able little pamphlet, First Letter to the People of England 
on the Catholic Question, London, 1829. 

i Hansard, 2d Series, Vol. V, p. 965, February 28, 1821. 

IT Penn, England's Present Interest Discovered, p. 32 (1675). 

IT Hansard, New Series, Vol. V, p. 969, February 28, 1821. 



126 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

willing submission . . . the Protestant religion 
and the Constitution were inseparably united' so 
that no danger need be apprehended from Catholic 
antagonism to the Church of England." 9 And 
Sidney Smith, who perhaps more than any other 
writer made plain to humble men the Catholic 
argument, 20 went directly to the charge of divided 
allegiance as the root of the matter. The Catho- 
lics were charged with owing allegiance to one who 
might dethrone kings, and were themselves bound 
to destroy heretics. 'To all of which,' wrote 
Smith, 21 'may be returned this one conclusive 
answer that the Catholics are ready to deny these 
doctrines upon oath. And as the whole contro- 
versy is whether the Catholics shall by means of 
oaths be excluded from certain offices in the State, 
those who contend that the continuation of these 
excluding oaths is essential to the public safety, 
must admit that oaths are binding upon Catholics, 
and a security to the State that what they say is 
true.' Nor did he fear the fact that the Catholics 
owed an allegiance no less to the Pope than to the 
British Crown. The one was spiritual, and not 
even distantly connected with the second, which 
was concerned with civil policy. 'What is meant 
by allegiance to the crown,' he said, 22 'is, I pre- 
sume obedience to Acts of Parliament and a 

18 Hansard, New Series, Vol. VII, p. 517, May 10, 1822. 

20 It is a pity that Monsignor Ward in his three volumes should not 
have paid Sidney Smith the tribute his Letters of Peter Plymley merit. 

21 Collected Works, p. 250. 

22 Collected Works, p. 684. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 127 

resistance to those who are constitutionally pro- 
claimed to be the enemies of the country. I have 
seen and heard of no instance for this century 
and a half past, where the spiritual sovereign 
has presumed to meddle with the affairs of the 
temporal sovereign. The Catholics deny him 
such power by the most solemn oaths which the 
wit of man can devise. In every war the army 
and navy are full of Catholic soldiers and sailors ; 
and if their allegiance in temporal matters is 
unimpeachable and unimpeached, what matter to 
whom they choose to pay spiritual obedience, and 
to adopt as their guide in genuflexion and psal- 
mody? Suppose these same Catholics are foolish 
enough to be governed by a set of Chinese moralists 
in their diet, this would be a third allegiance ; and 
if they were regulated by Brahmins in their dress, 
this would be a fourth allegiance; and if they 
received the directions of the Patriarchs of the 
Greek Church in educating their children, here is 
another allegiance; and as long as they fought 
and paid taxes, and kept clear of the Quarter- 
Sessions and Assizes, what matter how many 
fanciful supremacies and frivolous allegiances 
they choose to manufacture or accumulate for 
themselves?' Here, at any rate, Sidney Smith was 
as irresistible in his logic as in his humour. 

The attitude of the Catholic authorities was in 
no wise different from that of their Protestant 
supporters. From the early days of the struggle, 
they tried to make it plain that, whatever their 



128 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

connexion with the Church of Rome, the loyalty 
they owed the British Crown in civil affairs was 
nnexcepted and entire. 'We acknowledge,' wrote 
the Vicars Apostolic of England in 1813, 23 'that 
we owe to the State a proof of our civil allegiance 
and security against all treasonable designs. 
You (the Catholic laity) in common with us ... 
have given to our country the strongest proofs 
of civil allegiance, and an abhorrence of all trea- 
sonable designs by the profession of your religious 
principles, by the solemn oaths you have taken 
with unquestionable sincerity, and by the known 
loyalty of your conduct. . . . We are all British- 
born subjects, and as such we feel an interest and 
a glory in the security and prosperity of our 
country. We can no more betray our country 
than our religion.' This is a sufficiently clear 
pronouncement. Yet two years later O'Connell 
made an even more striking repudiation of any 
claim of the Pope to temporal allegiance. 'I 
deny,' he said, 24 'the doctrine that the Pope has 
any temporal authority, directly or indirectly, in 
Ireland, we have all denied that doctrine on oath, 
and we would die to resist it.' 'I know of no 
foreign prince,' he went on to assert, 25 'whom, in 
temporal matters the Catholics of Ireland would 
more decidedly resist than the Pope.' Nor did 
Charles Butler whose great legal powers give to 

23 Ward, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 65. 

24 Ward, II, 143. 

25 Op. cit., II, p. 148. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 129 

his declaration a peculiar value speak otherwise. 
'If the Pope, ' said the pamphlet reprinted by him, 26 
' should pretend to dissolve or dispense with his 
Majesty's subjects from their allegiance, on ac- 
count of heresy or schism, such dispensation 
would be vain and null ; and all Catholic subjects 
notwithstanding such dispensation or absolution, 
would still be bound in conscience to defend their 
king and country at the hazard of their lives and 
fortunes (as far as Protestants would be bound) 
even against the Pope himself, in case he should 
invade the nation/ To the same effect was the 
petition of the Catholic Board to the king. 'To 
your Majesty,' it says, 27 'they swear full and 
undivided allegiance ; in your Majesty alone they 
recognize the power of the civil sword within this 
realm of England. They acknowledge in no prince, 
prelate, State, or potentate, any power or author- 
ity to use the same within the said realm, in any 
matter or cause whatever, whether civil, spiritual 
or ecclesiastical.' Dr. O'Hanlon of Maynooth told 
Lord Harrowby's commission that the college 
virtually taught Gallicanism. 'We teach in May- 
nooth,' he said, 28 'that the Pope has no temporal 
power whatever, direct or indirect. We have 
affirmed that doctrine upon our solemn oaths, and 
we firmly maintain it. ... We hold the same 

26 Op. tit., II, 302. The author of the pamphlet is unknown, but it 
was reprinted by Butler with emphatic approval, as an appendix to hia 
Historical Memorials in the later editions. 

2? Ward, op. tit., II, 302. 

28 Quarterly Beview, 1875, p. 494. 



130 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

doctrine in regard to the Church.' In 1826, all 
the Catholic bishops united in a declaration that 
in civil matters 'they hold themselves bound in 
conscience to obey the civil government of this 
realm . . . notwithstanding any dispensation or 
order to the contrary to be had from the Pope or 
any authority of the Church of Rome. " 9 And Dr. 
Doyle, the most influential, if the youngest, 80 of the 
Irish Catholic bishops, assured Lord Liverpool 
that 'Papal influence will never induce the Catho- 
lics of this country either to continue tranquil or 
to be disturbed, either to aid, or to oppose the 
Government; and that your lordship can con- 
tribute much more than the Pope to secure their 
allegiance or to render them disaffected.' 31 

It is obviously a political question as to the 
nature of sovereignty that is at the bottom of this 
discussion ; and the attitude of Parliament, on the 
one hand, and of the Catholics on the other, to the 
problem of security against Roman aggression 
throws this aspect of emancipation into very 
striking relief. The fear clearly is that the nature 
of their religious allegiance will compel Catholics 
to endanger the Protestant nature of the State. 
Means must therefore be had to make the govern- 
ment sufficiently in control of Catholic loyalty as 
to guard against that risk. In Grattan's Bill of 
1813 a long oath of loyalty was inserted by Can- 

29 Declaration of the Catholic Bishops, etc., London, 1826, p. 14. 
so See the amusing opinion expressed of him by the voluble and 
excitable Milner. Ward, op. cit., Ill, 153. 

si Letter to Lord Liverpool on the Eoman Catholic Claims, p. 115. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 131 

ning intended to secure Great Britain against 
Roman interference. A Board of Commission, 
selected from distinguished Catholics, was to be 
chosen and was to accept all appointees to vacant 
bishoprics in the Roman Church, and to examine 
all documents from Rome before admitting them 
into the country. 82 But this measure raised in its 
turn a curious problem. While it did not hurt the 
implicit Gallicanism of men like Butler, it was 
unalterably opposed by the redoubtable Milner 
and by the Irish bishops. It was, said the latter, 33 
1 utterly incompatible with the discipline of the 
Roman Catholic Church and with the free exercise 
of our religion,' since it involved the admission 
that the State had the right to interfere with the 
internal affairs of the Church. The bill, said 
Milner, 8 * 'was contrived with a heart and malice 
which none but the spirits of wickedness in high 
places . . . could have suggested to undermine 
and wither the fair trees of the English and Irish 
Catholic Churches/ Nor would he admit the 
rescript of Monsignor Quaranotti, the sub-prefect 
of Propaganda, who, in the enforced absence of 
the Pope as Napoleon's prisoner, approved the 
proposal. 35 O'Connell even went so far as to 
assert that not even the Pope himself would make 

32 The text of these amendments is given in Parliamentary Debates, 
Vol. XXVI, pp. 88 seq. 

ss Ward, II, 37. 

34 Ward, II, 41. The 'heart and malice' is that of Charles Butler 
to whose Gallicanism Milner was unalterably opposed. See Ward, passim. 

as Ward, II, pp. 71 seq. 



132 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

him admit such an invasion of Catholic integrity. 36 
1 The Catholics of Ireland,' said the Dublin Daily 
Chronicle 'will not recognise any of its acts as 
binding and obligatory . . . they have distinctly 
and on their solemn oaths protested against the 
recognition of any foreign temporal authority.' 
By 1817, it was clear that Catholic opinion would 
tolerate neither the royal approval of bishops, 
nor the regulation of ecclesiastical intercourse with 
Rome. 88 

The reason is sufficiently plain. The Roman 
Catholic Church has always claimed that the 
Church is itself a perfect society, and as such it 
could hardly acknowledge the supremacy of the 
State. Milner, indeed, from this standpoint in- 
sisted, and logically, that no Catholic could swear 
undivided allegiance to the temporal sovereign 
'as there might always be occasions when the 
authority of the State might be at variance with 
that of the Church'; 39 and he seems to have 
objected to the limited sense in which the Catholics 
interpreted allegiance. Securities of any kind 
seemed to him 'Bills of Pains and Penalties' 
which struck at the root of Catholic independence, 
and he actually organised a petition against a 
Relief Bill of Plunkett's on this ground. 40 His 

SB Life and Speeches, Vol. II, 178. Ward, II, 143. 
37 Ward, II, 150. 

s 8 See the abortive resolutions proposed by Bishop Poynter. Ward, 
II, 242. 

39 Ward, III, 58. 

40 Ward, III, 63. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 133 

position seems to have won the support of the 
Roman authorities, who expressed surprise and 
sorrow that the laity of the Church should have 
presented a petition to the king 'in which they 
have protested that they acknowledge in no one 
but himself any power or authority, either civil, 
spiritual or ecclesiastical' and emphasised their 
opinion that such an attitude would be 'unlawful 
and schismatical. m The reason of this attitude 
becomes clear from a note of Bishop Milner's on 
what he understood allegiance to mean under the 
laws of England. It is not to allegiance itself 
'which means nothing more than the duty which a 
subject owes to the Prince or State under which 
he lives' that he objected, but, 'as it is gathered 
from the laws of the country which invested the 
king with the power of excommunication, or cut- 
ting off from the body of Christ, and of reforming 
all heresies, and, therefore, of judging of them. 542 
It was thus against the theoretical limitations 
upon all bodies not the State which is implied in 
the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty that he 
made his protest. He could owe allegiance to the 
State only so far as it did not conflict with the 
loyalty his Church had the right to demand. 

A twofold tendency within the Catholic fold was 
clear thus early. Men like Butler were Gallican 
in their attitude, 43 willing to combine with the 

"Ward, III, 77. 

42 Ward, III, 158. 

43 Manning's attacks on the Gallicanism of the old Catholics are 
well known. See Pureell, II, pp. 217, 308. 



134 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Unitarians to secure emancipation on the broad 
basis of a general religious toleration; 44 while 
others, like Milner, were profoundly Ultramontane 
in temper. It was with the first body of thought 
that general English sentiment allied itself. 'You 
will consider/ said the Speech from the throne 
announcing the Relief Bill, 45 1 whether the removal 
of these disabilities can be effected consistently 
with the full and permanent security of our estab- 
lishments in Church and State.' It was the 
knowledge at Rome that this feeling must be 
respected which had prevented the recognition of 
the Jesuits in England; 48 and when, in 1815, 
Cardinal Gonsalvi had visited England he had, in 
deference to public sentiment, not only put aside 
the ordinary robes of his office, but had been most 
careful to avoid all questions of precedence. 47 
For the old prejudices were far from dead. As 
late as 1827, Arthur Hallam told Mr. Gladstone 
how the gibes in 'King John' against the Pope had 
met with eager applause; and the Oxford bed- 
makers thought separation might be preferable to 
emancipating the Catholics. 48 When the Bill 
actually came, the concession to this sentiment was 
apparent. The oath was of the most drastic 
nature, and prevented any Catholic from attempt- 
ing to secure a change in the character of the 

"Ward, III, 168. 

Ward, III, 247. 

"Ward, III, 21. 

Nielson 's History of the Papacy, I, 350. 

*8 Morley, I, 40. 



State. 49 The Catholics were forbidden to take the 
names of Protestant sees for their bishoprics a 
clause which, ignored in Ireland, was in England 
to lead to serious trouble. 50 Catholics were for- 
bidden from religious celebration outside a church 
or private house, and from wearing the habits of 
their orders. 51 The Jesuits were prohibited from 
entrance into England. 52 On the more negative 
side, Catholics were not to hold certain offices, nor 
were they to have direct concern with religious 
appointments. 53 Gifts to religious orders were 
made void, 54 and the rule against tracts for super- 
stitious purposes was sufficient to invalidate such 
bequests as one for masses or prayer for the 
repose of souls. 55 It is perhaps worth noting that 
in the year before the passage of the Belief Act, 
a bequest for inculcating the doctrine of the Pope's 
supremacy was declared illegal; 56 and it was not 
until 1836 that a Roman Catholic marriage became 
valid in the eyes of the law. 57 

The Relief Act clearly bears upon its face the 
marks of the difficult circumstances under which 

Ward, III, 362, and see his comment at pp. 254-255. 
BO Ward, III, 257, and see below. 

61 This has practically been inoperative. 

62 This again has been inoperative. 

OB 10. o. rv. 

64 SS. 12, 17, 18; and in connexion with his ownership of an advow- 
son, see 3 Jac. I, c. 5. s. 13. and I, W. & M. C. 26. s. 2. 

65 This is of old standing, see e.g., Adams v. Lambert (1602), 4 Co. 
Eep. 104. West v. Shuttleworth, (1835), 2 My. & K., 684. Heath v. 
Chapman (1854), 2 Drew, 417, 425. 

66 De Themmines v. De Bonneval (1828), 5 Euss. 288. 

67 Dicey, Law and Public Opinion (Second ed.), p. 345. 



136 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

it was passed. It is evident that most Englishmen 
suspected the Catholic religion of sapping the 
foundations of civic loyalty; and the Act rather 
lulled than removed that suspicion. The securities 
were plainly enough the mark of a fear that the 
sovereignty of the Crown might suffer impair- 
ment; for if, as Plunket had stated fifteen years 
before, the 'true principles of the Constitution' 
were 'the safety of the Established Church and of 
the Protestant throne,' 58 and if no concession not 
consistent with these could be yielded, it was clear 
not only that religious proselytisation must be 
circumscribed but also that enthusiasts would 
hesitate to suffer such a limitation of religious 
freedom as was here implied. Certainly Bishop 
Doyle's way out of the impasse was more casuis- 
tically ingenious than politically logical. 59 

The fact of the matter is that, as is usually the 
case, English practice was better than English 
theory. The Irish difficulty apart 60 and only 
complete emancipation could be its solution to 
the attitude of men like Charles Butler it was 
scarcely possible even for the most bigoted of 
Protestants to take political exception. He ad- 
mitted the authority of common law and statute 
law, both of which he had himself illuminated by 
his profound learning. He did not hesitate to 
accept the claims of constituted jurisdiction in all 

cs See his collected speeches, ed. Hoey (1855), p. 117. 
69 Life, Vol. II, p. 126. 

eo Plunket has stated its nature very eloquently and unanswerably. 
Collected Speeches, pp. 111-135. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 137 

civil and religious matters that did not touch his 
conscience. He repudiated the temporal suprem- 
acy of the Pope. To have excluded him from the 
exercise of political power when, without its 
possession, he had been for so long loyal to the 
British Crown, would have been to create an 
allegiance which no thinking man could accept. 
The Catholic had been 'a marked man and a plot- 
ting sectary* 61 in the eyes of the populace for more 
than two hundred years, yet he had not attempted 
the destruction of an oppressive State. Emanci- 
pation came as the half-unwilling and half- 
accomplished recognition of the error inherent 
in a theory of sovereignty which, because it makes 
political outcasts of those whose intimate beliefs 
it fails to control, is at war with all the deeper 
realities of human life. 

II 

If the Papacy, as Thomas Hobbes so scornfully 
remarked, be no more than the ' ghost of the Holy 
Roman Empire sitting crowned upon the ruins 
thereof,' it has not seldom possessed sufficient 
substantiality to cause Englishmen some vigorous 
tremors. Whatever its defects, Ultramontanism 
has, at any rate in its broader form, the merit of 
a respectable pedigree. Nor has the attitude of 
England to its demands changed very greatly in 
the centuries since the Reformation Parliament 

i The phrase is Plunket's. Collected Speeches, p. 217. 



138 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

bestowed on the omnivorous Henry the attributes 
of papal sovereignty. 62 But an Anglican usurpa- 
tion was not likely to decrease the pretensions of 
that organism of which changelessness was the 
proud boast. The claims of Gregory VII and 
Boniface VIII may have slumbered ; but dead they 
were not. Certainly to the divines of the seven- 
teenth century it was the supreme merit of the 
Reformation that it prevented an allegiance to 
the sovereign which had been heretofore precarious 
because divided. 63 But the condition of its removal 
was a narrow and uncritical antagonism to what- 
ever savoured of Roman practice. The penalisa- 
tion of the Catholic religion turned it once more 
into a secret society mistakenly since the Armada 
had sufficiently proved the implicit Gallicanism 
of the English Catholics. Nevertheless it was true 
that they owed allegiance to an ecclesiastical 
monarch who claimed the deposing power. Men 
never forgot the Bull of Pius V, and they were 
determined not to endure a repetition of his 
offence. So that when an enlightened opinion at 
length admitted of a fair measure of toleration, 
it was upon conditions that the boon was extended. 
The fear of Rome was far from dead; it was 
rather the suspicion of the English Catholics that 
had been removed and the latter were to find how 

62 For some striking remarks on the Byzantinism of Henry VIII 
see Maitland 's English Law and the Renaissance, especially pp. 14 ff . 

s This is the essential argument of such works as Leslie's A Battle 
Eoyal, Barrow on the Pope 's Supremacy, Jackson on Christian Obedience, 
and the like. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 139 

easily the lightest indiscretion might fan those 
suspicions once more into flame. 

The twenty years succeeding emancipation were 
used by the Catholics in reaping the harvest that 
had been so long and so painfully sowing. 64 They 
were not unfortunate in their position. English- 
men discovered that the Catholic gentry had 
virtues very similar to their own. The reputation 
of statesmen like Montalembert, the history of 
thinkers like Schlegel, and, from 1846, the sus- 
pected liberalism of Pius IX, but, above all, the 
influence of the Oxford Movement and the skilful 
social ability of Cardinal Wiseman, were all bound 
to add greatly to the prestige of their situation. 
People began with interested amazement to hear 
O'Connell declare that the Catholic Church had 
ever been on the side of democracy, 65 and the 
corrosive sublimate of which Hurrell Froude's 
mind was mainly composed assisted in the disso- 
lution of Newman's evangelical suspicions. 66 The 
Napoleonic adventure, moreover, had done much 
to check men's fears of a Catholic revival. The 
political edifice of the temporal power seemed less 
secure than at any former time in modern history. 
The things of which De Maistre did not lightly 

* In his two recent volumes, The Sequel to Catholic Emancipation, 
Monsignor Bernard Ward has related the internal history of the Catholic 
Body in England to the re-establishment of the hierarchy. See also Mr. 
Wilfrid Ward's able Life of Cardinal Wiseman. 

ss Cf . Acton, History of Freedom, p. 190. 

e See Newman, Difficulties of Anglicans (ed. of 1908), Vol. I, pp. 
37 ff. 



140 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

dream, the Symbolik of Mohler, the grave charm 
of the Miinich reaction all these might logically 
lead to a reformulation of the Catholic political 
system, but it was a reformation of which men had 
ceased to be afraid. 87 Newman, Manning, Glad- 
stone all of them visited Home in the full vigour 
of early manhood; but if they were historically 
impressed, they were in nowise religiously con- 
vinced. 68 And even the rosy optimism of Pius IX 
was quite early to expect the fall of the temporal 
power. 69 

Then, suddenly, there came a change. From an 
attitude of watchful waiting, Wiseman, who in 
1847 had become pro- Vicar Apostolic of the London 
district, assumed a critical offensive. In the 
Dublin Review he had an admirable means of 
propaganda and that the more important since 
it was an age when men still read theology with 
interested acumen. A skilful controversialist, he 
followed the fortunes of the Oxford Movement 
with unfailing eagerness; nor had he failed to 
contribute his observations. An article on the 
Donatist schism in 1839 had perhaps done more 
than any other single event to convince Newman 
that the 'via media' was untenable. 70 He perhaps 

67 Indeed, as Acton pointed out in 1858, it was doubtful if there was 
a Catholic political system at all. See his essay, 'Political Thoughts on 
the Church' in the History of Freedom. 

es Of. Newman's Apologia (ed. Ward), p. 133, and Morley's Glad- 
stone, (Pop. ed.), I, 65. 

69 See the preface to Dollinger 's Kirche und Kirchen, where he gives 
an account of this prophecy made to the Archbishop of Eheims. 

70 Ward, Life of Wiseman, I, 321. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 141 

did more, as Mr. Ward reminds us, to reawaken 
Englishmen to the historic significance of his 
Church than any other Catholic of the age. 71 It 
was the beginning of the Homeward movement. 
The folly of Oxford completed in W. G. Ward a 
process that logic had already begun. Dalgairns, 
St. John and Richard Stanton followed, while 
Newman, as Dean Stanley caustically put it, 'had 
recourse to whispering, like the slave of Midas, his 
secret to the reeds." 2 Then he, too, went and with 
his conversion a flood-gate of proselytisation 
seemed open. The secession, says Mr. Lecky, 73 
' was quite unparalleled in magnitude since that 
which had taken place under the Stuarts. ' It was 
no wonder that Wiseman rejoiced. The accession 
of so strong a body of intelligence seemed to 
synchronise naturally with his plans for broaden- 
ing the basis of English Catholic culture. 74 Then 
in 1846 came the election of the new pope and the 
dawn, as men thought, of a new liberal Catholicism. 
It seemed clear to Wiseman and his colleagues that 
this was a time for action. On a visit to Borne in 
1847, 76 he first broached his plans for the restora- 
tion of the Catholic hierarchy in England. There 
were good reasons for his plan ; though at the time 
the antagonism of Cardinal Acton and the excite- 
ment of the crisis at Rome was sufficient to delay 

71 Op. cit., I, 330. 

72 Op. cit., I, 425. 

73 History of Rationalism, I, 159. 

74 Life, I, 440. 

75 76td., I, 474 ff. 



142 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

any action, Wiseman himself was able to secure 
the exercise of Lord Palmerston's influence against 
Austria and the despatch of an unofficial but 
important envoy Lord Minto to the papal 
Curia. 76 Though the negotiations for the hier- 
archy were in abeyance, they were by no means 
forgotten. By 1848 the Papacy was convinced; 
and Lord John Russell, on behalf of the English 
government, had made public announcement that 
though he would not assist, at any rate he would 
not interfere." In 1850 the expected event took 
place. Wiseman was created Cardinal- Archbishop 
of Westminster and the Pope's brief of September 
29 re-established the hierarchy. 78 In his famous 
Pastoral of October 7, 'from out of the Flaminian 
Gate' Wiseman, dramatically perhaps, but with an 
intelligible pride, announced the event to the 
Catholics of England. 

He had anticipated no storm. It had seemed to 
him that the matter was one of no more than 
Catholic concern, the announcement of a metro- 
politan that the method of internal ecclesiastical 
administration had been changed. Yet he had, 
perhaps, been supremely unfortunate in the method 
of reporting he chose to adopt. Himself a man of 
exuberant temperament, it was with some genial 
bombast that the good news was told. 'So that 
at present' ran the Pastoral, 79 'and till such time 

T Ibid., I, 480 ff. 
n Hid., I, 492-494. 
lbid., I, 529. 



Hid., I, 543. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 143 

as the Holy See shall think fit otherwise to provide, 
we govern, and shall continue to govern, the 
counties of Middlesex, Hertford and Essex as 
Ordinary thereof, and those of Surrey, Sussex, 
Kent, Berkshire and Hampshire, with the islands 
annexed, as Administrator with Ordinary juris- 
diction.' He was, of course, doing no more than 
marking the confines of his ecclesiastical jurisdic- 
tion. But it was not thus that his action was 
interpreted. The claim of government was at once 
taken in its fullest and most literal sense. The 
Pope was claiming to supersede Queen Victoria; 
nothing less than her supersession was intended. 
He was the new Hildebrand aiming at a new 
Canossa. ' We can only receive it, ' said the Times 
'as an audacious and conspicuous display of pre- 
tensions to resume the absolute spiritual dominion 
of this island, which Rome has never abandoned.' 
Nor did the Times alone fan the flame of popular 
resentment. In an extraordinary letter to the 
Bishop of Durham, Lord John Russell gave full 
rein to his feelings. 'There is an assumption of 
power in all the documents which have come from 
Rome,' he wrote, 81 'a pretension to supremacy over 
the realm of England, and a claim to sole and 
undivided sway which is inconsistent with the 
Queen's supremacy, with the rights of our bishops 
and clergy, and with the spiritual independence of 
the nation as asserted even in Roman Catholic 

so October 39, 1850. 

si Life of Wiseman, I, 548. 



144 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

times/ But the pretensions would be resisted. 
1 No foreign prince or potentate will be permitted 
to fasten Ms fetters upon a nation which has so 
long and so nobly vindicated its right to freedom 
of opinion/ The legal position of Dr. Wiseman 
would be considered and due steps taken to enforce 
the law. 

For four months England luxuriated in a 
recrudescence of all its ancient prejudices. The 
Lord Chancellor quoted King John at the Guild- 
hall. Bishops vied with one another in the choice 
of extravagant epithets and addressed a petition 
of loyalty and remonstrance to the Queen. In 
reply the sovereign was made to assure them of her 
* determination to uphold alike the rights of my 
crown and the independence of my people against 
all aggressions and encroachments of any foreign 
power.' 82 Meetings of protest were held all over 
the country; everywhere, too, since Russell's letter 
happily coincided with Guy Fawkes' Day, Pope 
and Cardinal were committed in effigy to the 
flames. Crowds broke the windows of Roman 
Catholic churches. So serious did the feeling 
become that the Catholic authorities were doubtful 
if it was wise for Wiseman to return. 88 

But the Cardinal was equal to the occasion. He 
hurried back to England and immediately issued 
an able ' Appeal to the English Nation' which not 
only did much to quieten public sentiment but even 

sz ibid., I, 551. 
83 Ibid., I, 553. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 145 

was successful in procuring a reluctant retracta- 
tion from the Times** In a skilful letter Disraeli 
sneered gracefully at the whole affair, while Mr. 
Roebuck publicly rebuked Russell as the successor 
of Lord George Gordon. 85 Wiseman himself, in 
certain lectures at St. George's Cathedral, ex- 
plained the decree in detail and in circumstance. 
What, perhaps, did most to assuage popular 
indignation was the passage of the Ecclesiastical 
Titles Bill which received the Royal Assent in 
August, 1851. The declaration that Roman Catho- 
lics should not assume titles of bishoprics under 
penalty of fine nor publish papal bulls seemed to 
act like a soothing charm. 86 By the end of 1851 
the excitement had entirely disappeared. 

The episode is perhaps more theoretically than 
practically important. It is clear that to the 
majority of Englishmen the effect of the new 
Ultramontanism was to invade the integrity of 
English sovereignty. 'The day is coming,' said 
the Edinburgh Review" 'when either the Ultra- 
montane theory, as developed by such writers as 
De Maistre, will be universal and paramount, or 
the theory of the infallibility and supremacy of 
the Church of Rome will crumble to atoms. The 
theory of a divided allegiance the nations will at 
length find untenable.' Lord Shaftesbury seems 
particularly to have feared the introduction of the 

8*I6td., II, 3. 

85 Ibid., II, 6-9. 

8 The text of the Act is given in the Life of Wiseman, Vol. II, p. 585. 

87 April, 1851, p. 574. 



146 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Roman Canon law. 'Do you know what the Canon 
law is?' he asked a great meeting. 88 'It is a law 
incompatible with the civil law of this realm; it 
is subversive of all religious liberty; it permits 
nay, enjoins persecution of heresy, it elevates 
the Pope as God, and asserts that he is superior 
to all human and national laws. We deny synodal 
action to our own Church shall we allow it to a 
rival and hostile body?' A section of Catholic 
opinion seems to have concurred in these views. 
'The late bold and clearly expressed edict of the 
Court of Rome,' wrote Lord Beaumont, 89 'can not 
be received or accepted by English Roman Catho- 
lics without a violation of their duties as citizens.' 
'I should think,' said the Duke of Norfolk, 90 'that 
many must feel, as we do, that Ultramontane 
opinions are totally incompatible with allegiance 
to our Sovereign and with* our Constitution.' 
Though Macaulay himself had no fear of the Bull, 
some of his friends were 'angry and alarmed' and 
he did not regret their fright 'for such fright is 
an additional security for us against that execrable 
superstition.' 91 Mr. Gladstone seems to have 
disapproved with vehemence of the papal action 
but desired to draw a distinction between the 
action of Rome and the attitude of the English 
Catholics. 92 

ss Hodder, Life of Slwftesbury, Vol. II, p. 332. 
89 Life of Wiseman, II, 15. 
so Hid. 

91 Trevelyan's Life (Nelson's ed.), Vol. II, p. 275. 

92 Morley, Life, I, 304 ff. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 147 

It is clearly the old argument against Catholic 
emancipation clothed in a newer garb. The 
demand from Catholics is for an undiluted loyalty, 
and it is believed that such loyalty is incompatible 
with their spiritual allegiance. The answer made 
by the Catholics is masterly alike in form and 
substance. It is admitted by Wiseman that for 
the Pope to appoint Catholic bishops in England 
is a virtual denial of the royal supremacy in eccle- 
siastical affairs. But he correctly pointed out that 
this denial was not confined to members of the 
Catholic faith. 'The royal supremacy,' he wrote, 98 
'is no more admitted by the Scotch Kirk, by 
Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, Independents, 
Presbyterians, Unitarians and other Dissenters 
than by the Catholics.' He quoted Lord Lynd- 
hurst to the effect that so long as no mischievous 
temporal consequences ensue from Catholic recog- 
nition of the papal supremacy, it was lawful for 
them to held that belief. 'If the law,' said Lord 
Lyndhurst, 94 'allowed the doctrines and discipline 
of the Roman Catholic Church, it should be allowed 
to be carried on perfectly and properly.' Not to 
do so was a practical refusal of religious toleration. 
'To have told Catholics,' Lord Lyndhurst added, 95 
' "you have perfect religious liberty, but you shall 
not teach that the Church can not err ; or, you have 
complete toleration but you must not presume to 

**Ufe of Wiseman, I, 560. 

e* Hansard, 2d Series, Vol. LXXXVEH, p. 1261, Speech of April 20, 
1846. 

5 Ibid. 



148 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

believe holy orders to be a sacrament" would have 
been nugatory and tyrannical/ Wiseman was 
able to show that Lord John Russell himself had 
admitted that the introduction of papal bulls was 
essential to Church discipline. i There are certain 
Bulls of the Pope,' Russell had told the House 
of Commons, 96 'which are absolutely necessary for 
the appointment of Bishops and pastors belonging 
to the Roman Catholic Church. It would be quite 
impossible to prevent the introduction of such 
Bulls.' But this was all that Wiseman had 
brought. And his case was strengthened by the 
fact that in Canada the local governments admitted 
the titular creations of the colonial hierarchy and 
had incorporated them by name in acts of Parlia- 
ment. 97 He very pertinently enquired what dis- 
tinction existed between the papal act of 1850 and 
the creation by Act of Parliament of the Anglo- 
Prussian bishopric of Jerusalem. 'Suppose,' 
asked Wiseman, 98 'his Majesty of Abyssinia or the 
Emir Beshir had pronounced this to be an intru- 
sion "inconsistent with the rights of bishops and 
clergy and with the spiritual independence of the 
nation" how much would this country have cared ?' 
The ground he took in the St. George's Cathedral 
lectures was exactly similar. People complained 
that 'it was the State in every department which 
was invaded . . . the Crown was wounded in its 

se Hansard, 2d Series, Vol. LXXXVIII, p. 362. 
T Life of Wiseman, II, 566. 
ss Appeal, etc., p. 23. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 149 

prerogative, its supremacy, its right to allegiance, 
its very sovereignty . . . suppose that any one had 
told you six months ago that the Bishop of Rome 
had it in his power to throw this vast empire into 
convulsions; to upheave by the breath of his 
nostrils the granite foundations of the noble 
British constitution; to shake to its basis the 
throne of our gracious Queen . . . you would have 
laughed to scorn the man who would have pre- 
sumed to tell you that he had such tremendous 
power. And if, by way of jest, or through 
curiosity, you had asked the fanatic who told you 
so by what wonderful machinery, by what magical 
agency he could do all this ; and he had answered 
you "by a scrap of paper, wherein he should desire 
the Catholic districts of England to be henceforth 
called dioceses, and the Bishop of Trachis to be 
called Bishop of Beverley and the Bishop of Tloa 
to be called Bishop of Liverpool," you would, I 
am sure, have considered the man little better than 
an idiot who asserted or believed in such effects 
from such a cause.' 99 Nor was he alone in his 
contempt for this agitation. Roebuck pointed out 
to Lord John Russell that if Catholic allegiance 
was divided as he asserted, the issue of a papal 
bull dividing England into dioceses would in 
nowise alter their situation. 'Let us, if we will/ 
he wrote, 100 * fulminate an Act of Parliament 
against the Catholics; does any one suppose that 

99 Life of Wiseman, II, 17 ff. 
ioo/&td., II, 3. 



150 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

their faith will be in the slightest affected thereby? 
We can not make people loyal by Act of Parlia- 
ment ; we can not by excluding certain names, keep 
out the doctrines of the Catholic religion.' This 
practical limitation on a theoretical power was 
ably insisted upon by the Westminster Review. 
It pointed out that the claim of the Catholic 
Church to be a heaven-appointed body made it 
theoretically impossible for a human organisation 
to live upon amicable terms with it. ' Those who 
wield the sceptre of the Most High,' it urged, 101 
'will pay small heed to the baton of the constable. 
Where the Almighty reigns what room will there 
be for the police magistrate? and where Omnis- 
cience directs, for debates in Parliament? What 
natural function can fail to undergo eclipse where 
the mystic shadow of the supernatural traverses 
the air?' But the wide claims of the imagination 
suffer diminution amid the stress of everyday life. 
'De jure/ as it wisely suggested, 102 'the divine 
commission extends to everything and might absorb 
this planet into the Papal State; de facto it 
includes what it can, and stops where it must.' 
And amid its gibes and protests the Edinburgh 
was constrained to admit 108 that 'we do not for a 
moment question either the loyalty or the patriot- 
ism of the mass of our Roman Catholic fellow- 
subjects. We believe that, whether consistently or 

101 Westminster Eeview, 1851, Vol. LIV, p. 450. 

102 Hid., p. 454. 

103 Edinburgh Eeview, April, 1851, p. 538. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 151 

not, they would be as ready as were their Roman 
Catholic ancestors, or as are their Protestant con- 
temporaries, to resist any aggression on the civil or 
political supremacy of England.' But, as Pro- 
fessor Dicey has admitted, 104 no absolute theory of 
sovereignty can ever be consistent since it is always 
subject to the opinions of those it commands. 
And it is immensely difficult to understand why 
the Catholics should have been subject to a political 
logic which never has and never will be put into 
operation. 

The argument for the Roman Catholic upon the 
basis of toleration seems well-nigh unanswerable. 
'It is a mockery of toleration,' said the West- 
minster Review, 'to permit people to believe in 
a divine corporation, and then to refuse them their 
corporate offices.' Sir George Bowyer, in an 
exceedingly able pamphlet, pointed out that 'the 
Pope has only created certain offices in a Church 
which is, in the eye of the law a dissenting body, 
and as much a voluntary society as any other 
incorporated body enjoying no legal privileges or 
franchises. And the theological claims of our 
Church do not alter the case. They belong to 
religion, and are within the inviolable rights of 
liberty of conscience over which no human power 
can exercise jurisdiction.' 10 * They were doing no 
more than attend to the internal organisation of 

104 See his Law of the Constitution (7th ed.), pp. 74-82. 

105 Westminster Review, 1851, Vol. LIV, p. 458. 

loe The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the New Hierarchy, 
London, 1851, p. 20. 



152 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

the Church. They submitted to the law 'as good 
Englishmen and loyal subjects . . . but we claim 
full liberty so long as we do not infringe the law 
and the rights of our fellow-countrymen.' 107 It 
was ridiculous to talk of toleration if this was not 
the case. 'If we are not allowed by law to hold 
a doctrine,' he said, 108 'without which we should 
cease to be Roman Catholics, it obviously and 
inevitably follows that the law does not permit us 
to be Roman Catholics at all, which is absurd. 
Persecute us, drive us out of the realm altogether 
and into perpetual banishment, but do not hold out 
to us the delusive phantom of an apparent tolera- 
tion, and then deny us the liberty to hold that 
doctrine on which the very existence of our Church, 
as the Catholic Church . . . most undeniably 
depends.' And Roebuck pointed out that dan- 
gerous consequences would ensue from this lack 
of toleration. 'Will not Catholics in Ireland,' he 
asked, 109 'assert their own pre-eminence in that 
country and insist upon equality at least in the 
baneful right of persecution?' Mr. Bright had no 
doubts about the policy of Russell's government. 
Lord John's speech, he said, would have been 'very 
good if delivered some three hundred years ago,' 
and he denounced the measure as 'nothing better 
than a sham.' 110 But he opposed it on higher and 

107 Hid., p. 36. 

108 ma., p. is. 

io9i{/e of Wiseman, Vol. II, p. 9. 
no Trevelyan, Life of Bright, 193. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 153 

more splendid grounds. 'The course on which the 
noble Lord has been so recklessly dragging us/ 
he told the House of Commons, 111 'is fruitful in 
discord, hatred, religious animosities it has sepa- 
rated Ireland from this country, has withdrawn 
her national sympathies from us, and has done an 
amount of mischief which the legislation of the 
next ten years can not entirely, if at all, abate. 
The noble Lord has drawn up an indictment 
against eight millions of his countrymen; he has 
increased the power of the Pope over the Roman 
Catholics, for he has drawn closer the bonds 
between them and their Church, and the head of 
their Church. The noble Lord has quoted Queen 
Elizabeth and the great men of the Commonwealth, 
as though it were necessary now to adopt the 
principles which prevailed almost universally two 
hundred years ago. Does the noble Lord forget 
that we are the true ancients, that we stand on the 
shoulders of our forefathers and can see further ?' 
It was, however, reserved for Mr. Gladstone in a 
speech which Lord Morley has placed among his 
'three or four most conspicuous masterpieces' to 
make plain the essential wrongness of the govern- 
ment measure. 'Recollect,' he reminded the 
House, 112 'that Europe and the whole of the 
civilised world look to England at this moment 
not less, no, but even more than ever they looked 
to her before, as the mistress and guide of nations 

ui nid., 194, Speech of May 12, 1851. 
112 Morley, I, 306. 



154 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

in regard to the great work of civil legislation. . . . 
Show, I beseech you have the courage to show 
the pope of Rome, and his cardinals, and his 
Church, that England, too, as well as Rome has her 
semper eadem, and that when she had once 
adopted some great principle of legislation, which 
is destined to influence the national character, to 
draw the dividing lines of her policy for ages to 
come and to affect the whole nature of her influence 
and her standing among the nations of the world 
show that when she has done this slowly and done 
it deliberately, she has done it once for all; and 
that she will no more retrace her steps than the 
river which bathes this giant city can flow back 
upon its source. The character of England is in 
our hands. Let us feel the responsibility that 
belongs to us, and let us rely on it; if to-day we 
make this step backwards it is one which hereafter- 
we shall have to retrace with pain. We can not 
change the profound and resistless tendencies of 
the age towards religious liberty. It is our busi- 
ness to guide and control their application; do 
this you may, but to endeavour to turn them back- 
wards is the sport of children, done by the hands 
of men, and every effort you may make in that 
direction will recoil upon you in disaster and 
disgrace. ' Rarely have the principles of religious 
toleration been more splendidly vindicated with a 
more profound sense of the issues at stake. 'O'u 
se refugiera la liberte religieuse,' wrote de 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 155 

Tocqueville to Senior, 113 'si on la chasse de 1'Angle- 
terreT It was fortunate for the good sense of 
Englishmen that their practice was an advance 
upon their precept. The act was never put into 
operation. 'The weapon that had been forged in 
this blazing furnace by these clumsy armourers 
proved blunt and useless; the law was from the 
first a dead letter, and it was struck out of the 
statute book in 1871 in Mr. Gladstone's own 
administration. m * 

It is of interest to go back to the summer of 
1850, when the first of English theologians was 
explaining to the Church he had deserted the 
principles of that which had gained his powerful 
allegiance. The essential point of his effort was 
the demonstration that Church and State ought to 
be separate organisations, that the one can not 
rightly invade the province of the other. 'The life 
of a plant,' he wrote, 115 'is not the same as the life 
of an animated being, and the life of the body is 
not the same as the life of the intellect ; nor is the 
life of the intellect the same as the life of grace; 
nor is the life of the Church the same as the life 
of the State. ' It was this distinction the movement 
of 1833 had endeavoured to emphasise ; but, as he 
conceived it was foreign to the spirit of the 
National Church. For that organisation is not its 

us D e Tocqueville, 'Correspondence/ III, 274, quoted in Morley's 
Life. 

n*Morley, I, 308. 

us Difficulties of Anglicans (ed. of 1908), I, 44. 



156 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

own mistress, it is nothing but the creature of the 
State. It is not, like the Catholic Church, a perfect 
society living a life of its own. When the test of 
separateness is applied, it is seen at once to fail. 
What is the test? 'We know,' he argued, 116 'that 
it is the property of life to be impatient of any 
foreign substance in the body to which it belongs. 
It will be sovereign in its own domain, and it 
conflicts with what it can not assimilate into itself, 
and is irritated and disordered until it has expelled 
it.' The Church of Rome fulfils this test of 
separate identity, for over itself it is essentially 
sovereign. It has, as Mohler argued, its own 
special character and genius, stamped infallibly in 
its every act. 117 With the heresy of Erastus which, 
politically, is the Royal Supremacy, it can make 
no alliance of any kind. 'Erastianism, then,' he 
said, 118 'was the one heresy which practically cut 
at the root of all revealed truth. . . . dogma would 
be sacrificed to expedience, sacraments would be 
rationalised, perfection would be ridiculed, if she 
was made the slave of the State. ' It was here that 
Anglicanism essentially was distinguished from 
the ideals of Rome as the Oxford Movement gave 
expression to them. For while the Establishment 
desired nothing more than to be 'the creature of 
Statesmen,' the ambition of the Tractarians was 
to force it to self-action. It was not 'contented 

i Hid., I, 52. 

1" The reference is to the Symbolik (Robertson's translation), II, 
36-39. 

us Difficulties of the Anglicans, I, 102. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 157 

to be the mere creation of the State, as school- 
masters and teachers may be, as soldiers or magis- 
trates, or other public officers.' 119 The Roman 
Church could not but regard the question of 
ecclesiastical liberty as the fundamental question. 
Her independence was no theological question to 
be proved by theological argument. 'If the 
Church is independent of the State in things 
spiritual,' he scornfully said, 120 'it is not simply 
because Bishop Pearson has extolled her powers 
in his exposition of the Creed, though divines are 
brought forward as authorities too ; but by reason 
of "the force of that article of our belief, the one 
Catholic and Apostolic Church." The source of 
her power is a divine mystery which, because 
reason may not penetrate it, that reason may never 
resolve. She has her unvarying principles and 
dogmas which do not change with the shifting 
sands of time. Nor is the Catholic Church a 
national church since that must, man's nature 
being what it is, be necessarily Erastian. For if 
the Church be Erastian it can not be independent ; 
yet her independence is the very root of her nature. 
'You hold and rightly hold,' he told his audience, 121 
'that the Church is a sovereign and self-sustaining 
power in the same sense in which any temporal 
State is such. She is sufficient for herself ; she is 
absolutely independent in her own sphere ; she has 

us Ibid., I, 107. 
i20/6id., I, 131. 
i2i/6td., I, 173. 



158 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

irresponsible control over her subjects in religious 
matters; she makes laws for them of her own 
authority, and enforces obedience on them as the 
tenure of their membership with her. ' He admits 
that membership of the Church will coincide, in 
many cases, with membership of the State ; but the 
distinction is nevertheless clear. l There is no 
necessary coincidence in their particular appli- 
cation and resulting details, in the one and the 
other polity, just as the good of the soul is not 
always the good of the body; and much more so 
is this the case, considering there is no divine 
direction promised to the State, to preserve it from 
human passion and human weakness. ' 122 

Difficulties, of course, abound ; and Newman does 
not fail to recognise their existence. 'It is^not 
enough,' he says, 123 'for the State that things 
should be done, unless it has the doing of them 
itself; it abhors a double jurisdiction, and what 
it calls a divided allegiance ; aut Caesar aut nullus 
is its motto, nor does it willingly accept of any 
compromise. All power is founded, as it is often 
said, on public opinion ; for the State to allow the 
existence of a collateral and rival authority is to 
weaken its own.' Clearly, if the State desires to 
be an Austinian sovereign, collision is inevitable, 
and Newman admits that the State is physically 
the superior power. The problem then becomes 
the search for means whereby the Church 'may be 



id., I, 175. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 159 

able to do her divinely appointed work without let 
or hindrance' from an organisation that has been 
1 ever jealous of her, and has persecuted her from 
without and bribed her from within. 7 One way, 
he decides can alone be found. 'If the State would 
but keep within its own province, it would find 
the Church its truest ally and best benefactor.' 
Her principles are the principles of the State. 
'She upholds obedience to the magistrate; she 
recognises his office as from God; she is the 
preacher of peace, the sanction of law, the first 
element of order, and the safeguard of morality, 
and that without possible vacillation or failure; 
she may be fully trusted ; she is a sure friend, for 
she is defectible and undying.' 124 He urges this 
the more strongly since the Church is anxious to 
avoid collision. The quarrel of Becket and Henry, 
with its appeals and counter appeals, its legatine 
commission, its papal rebukes of the Saint, seems 
to him the proof of its forbearance. 126 He contrasts 
that humility and patience with what seems to 
him the proud Gallicanism of Louis XIV and the 
insolent Byzantinism of Joseph II. 126 They recog- 
nised the value of controlled religion to the State. 
'The State wishes to make its subjects peaceful 
and obedient; and there is nothing more fitted to 
effect this object than religion.' 127 For the Church 
that aims at universality this is, of course, an 

124 Ibid., I, 175. 

125 Ibid., I, 181 f. 

126 Ibid., I, 185. 

127 Ibid., I, 187. 



160 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

impossible attitude. However disguised, it is still 
Erastianism ; and it is the nature of the Catholic 
Church to be proof against that heresy. 128 He 
reinforces that conclusion by urging that the 
Church has a mission fundamentally distinct from 
that of any other society. It is on the ground of 
'tangible benefits' that the State claims the loyalty 
of its subjects; 129 but the Church is the sole 
guardian of a truth which none but her children 
may understand. 'She is the organ and oracle, 
and nothing else, of a supernatural doctrine, which 
is independent of individuals, given to her once 
and for all, . . . and which is simply necessary to 
the salvation of every one of us ... hence, 
requiring, from the nature of the case, organs 
special to itself, made for the purpose, whether 
for entering into its fulness, or carrying it out 
indeed.' 130 

Here, surely, is the basis upon which the Hier- 
archy of 1851 was re-established. The bare state- 
ment does less than the merest justice to the 
splendid eloquence with which it was adumbrated. 
The theory is not original with Newman; its 
origins are to be found in the fifth century of the 
Christian era. Confronted by difficulties which 
were not in essence distinct from those which had 
called forth the Durham letter from Russell, 
Gelasius I had constructed a theory of Church and 

128 J&td., I, 196. 

129 ibid., I, 213. 

td., I, 218 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 161 

State of which the main characteristic is the 
dualism for which Newman had argued. Felix II 
had already urged the Emperor Zeno to leave 
ecclesiastical affairs to the ecclesiastical authori- 
ties ; 131 and Gelasius added, as Newman would have 
added, that while the imperial authority was 
divine, it does not extend to control of the 
Church. 132 Gelasius points out that there was a 
time witness Melchisedech and the Pontifex 
Maximus when Church and State were capable 
of identification; but with the coming of Christ, 
the two were separated and to each distinct func- 
tions were assigned. 133 Within its sphere each 
power is supreme, nor should it suffer interference 
with its independence. The theory exercised a 
profound influence upon medieval thought. In 
the ninth century it was the basis of the episcopal 
definition sent to Lewis the Pius ; 134 it was accepted 
by Hincmar of Bheims. 135 But already the inci- 
dence of the theory had changed. Where Gelasius 
found the two societies in the world, the bishops 
saw but one Church, 136 and the obvious inference, 
when there came the struggle between Papacy and 

131 Ep. Felix II, Ep. VIII, 5. in Thiel. Epistolae Somanorum Pon- 
tificum. 

132 Gelasius, I, Ep. X, 9. and I, 10. in Thiel., op. cit. 
iss Tractatus, IV, 11. 

is* Monument, Germ. Hist., Sec. 11, Vol. II, No. 196. 

iss Ad. Episcop. De Inst. Carol, cap. 1 in Migne, Patrolog, VoL 
CXXV. 

136 Cf . the emphatic words in the document referred to above, ' Quod 
eiusdem aeclessiae corpus in duabus principaliter dividatur eximiis 
personis,' etc. 



162 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

empire, was to argue the inferiority of the secular 
branch. This is, of course, but fitfully apparent 
in the ninth century, when papal pretensions are 
almost at their minimum ; 137 but when it is apparent 
in the letters of court favourites like Alcuin, 138 its 
reality is hardly to be doubted. And in the claim 
that the priest is responsible to God for the acts 
of kings there is room for illimitable expansion. 139 
And when the problem of delimitation becomes 
difficult it was inevitable that use should be made 
of the implicit elasticity of the Gelasian theory. 
Mr. Carlyle has pointed out the irony with which 
Stephen of Tournai repeats the tradition he had 
inherited. 140 We can not here narrate the trans- 
formation which the views of Gelasius were to 
undergo in the hands of men like Hildebrand and 
Boniface VIII. Certainly the attempt at dualism 
was given up. The Church wins its victory only 
to promote a return, fostered by the revival of the 
study of Roman law in the eleventh century, 141 and 
the birth of nationalism in the fifteenth, to the older 
and better conception. 142 Newman's attitude, as it 

is? As evidence, for example, in the purgation of Leo III ; the clause 
about his freewill is clearly the merest sop to his dignity. 

138 Of. for instance Mon. Germ. Hist. Ep., IV. Alcuin, Ep. XVIII, 
108. 

i3 Carlyle, Med. Pol. Theory, I, 281. Mr. Carlyle quotes from Jonas 
of Orleans with whose work, however, I am not acquainted. 

1*0 Carlyle, II, 199. 

1*1 Of. the important remarks of Mr. Sidney- Woolf in his brilliant 
essay on Bartolus, pp. 101-107. 

1*2 As pointed out by Mr. Figgis in the essay, ' Eespublica Chris- 
tiana,' which he has reprinted as an appendix to his Churches in the 
Modern State. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 163 

was evinced in his Difficulties of Anglicans seems 
to represent the end of the reaction against Hilde- 
brandinism the end, because, with the revival of 
the Jesuit power, the official theory of the papal 
Curia becomes once more monistic in character. 148 
A rigid adherence to Newman's attitude was 
compatible enough with the utmost loyalty the 
English crown could have desired. If it is true, 
as a Catholic historian a little maliciously reports, 144 
that when Queen Victoria read Cardinal Wise- 
man's Pastoral she remarked, 'Am I Queen of 
England or am I not?', she showed a lamentable 
misunderstanding of the nature of sovereignty. 
Hume had long ago emphasised the dependence 
even of the most despotic power on public opinion ; 
and the wise remark of the Westminster reviewer 
that the divine commission 'includes what it can 
and stops where it must' 145 might have suggested 
the obvious limits to Wiseman's claims. As a fact, 
it is clear enough that the Cardinal did not himself 
intend whatever he may ultimately or secretly 
have desired any more than the fullest spiritual 
jurisdiction permitted by the peculiar organisation 
of the papal Curia. The English challenge to that 
claim was, in effect, a denial of the right of private 
judgment in religious matters. It was an old 

1*3 I assume that nobody now doubts that the Jesuits were respon- 
sible for the Syllabus of 1864 and the Decree of 1870. Cf. Acton, 
History of Freedom, p. 498 ff ., and Janus ' The Pope and the Council, 
passim. 

14 * Sequel to Catholic Emancipation, II, 287. 

1*5 See above, note 102. 



164 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

objection. Underlying it was the ancient desire 
for unity, perhaps, also, for uniformity, of which 
Dante's De MonarcMd is so supreme an expression. 
To the Protestant statesman of the mid- Victorian 
age, the single society which Hildebrand envisaged 
had become the English State. The ecclesiastical 
ideal Cavour had embraced seemed to him open to 
the most grave theoretical advantages even while 
he practically admitted its completest conse- 
quences. But a genius for political abstractions 
is perhaps no part of the English heritage. 



Ill 

The establishment of the Hierarchy in England 
coincided with perhaps the greatest change in the 
character of the Papacy since the Council of 
Trent. 146 The failure of Rosmini's mission and 
the murder of Rossi 147 seem to have convinced the 
Pope that the Jesuits might, after all, be right, 
and henceforward there were but fitful gleams of 
his ancient liberalism. The assassination of the 
minister was followed by the flight to Gaeta and 
the attainment of Antonelli to supreme power. 

i* The best general work on the Papacy during the nineteenth cen- 
tury is that of Bishop Nielsen. Friedrich's Life of Dolling er contains 
a mass of information upon what is perhaps its most important episode. 
The historical perspective will always be set by Janus' The Pope and 
the Council. 

1*7 Eosmini 's Delia Missione a Boma is our best authority on this 
critical episode. For his interpretation of Bossi's appointment, see op. 
cit., p. 53. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 165 

The use of the latter synchronised with the con- 
demnation of Rosmini which Antonelli seems to 
have thought essential to his security. 148 Pius' 
interest in reform seemed almost immediately to 
vanish. It was said openly by the Pontiff and his 
minister that there was no compatibility possible 
between the spiritual supremacy of Rome and the 
gift of a free constitution to the Papal States. 149 
As the Romans mockingly but truly said, it was a 
Pio nono secondo who returned to Rome. 150 Simul- 
taneously the General of the Jesuit Order, Father 
Roothaan, came back from a voluntary exile, and 
the publication of the notorious Civilta Cattolica 
was begun. 151 Within six months, the restoration 
of the English hierarchy followed. The imprison- 
ment of Franceso Madiai and the prohibition of 
a new edition of Muratori showed clearly how 
thoroughgoing was the reaction. 152 Two years 
later Pius, already more bold than his reactionary 
predecessor, promulgated the dogma of the 
Immaculate Conception, 153 which Schrader was 
later to interpret as the inferential claim of papal 

1*8 Nielsen, II, 173. 

1*9 See the very interesting note of Antonelli in Bianchi's Storia 
documentata della diplomosia Europea in Italia, Vol. VI, p. 238, seq. 

150 Nielsen, II, 181. 

isi Nielsen, II, 182. For Bellinger's opinion of the change, cf. his 
Kleinere Schriften, p. 582 ff. 

152 Nielsen, II, 184. Lord Palmerston obtained his release in charac- 
teristic fashion by threatening to send some English warships to the 
Mediterranean. 

153 Nielsen, II, 191 f. For the attitude of Gregory XVI, see op. tit., 
II, 76 f . 



166 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

infallibility. 15 * Pius had already embarked on the 
path which led directly to the catastrophe of 1870. 
It was inevitable that English Catholicism 
should respond to the eddies of this reaction. Nor 
was the ground unprepared. W. G. Ward's genial 
remark that he would 'like a new Papal Bull every 
morning with my Times at breakfast' 155 was in fact 
symptomatic of a whole philosophy. It is possible 
to trace two, and perhaps three, definite schools 
of thought among English Catholics of the time. 
Ward himself, and Manning also when he came 
to a position of influence in the Church of his 
adoption, was thoroughly in sympathy with the 
reactionary ideas of continental Ultramontan- 
ism. 150 It seemed to him that between thorough- 
going skepticism on the one hand, and an equally 
uncompromising conservatism on the other there 
could be no alternative. His political philosophy 
was that of De Maistre, and he would have asserted 
with the latter that it was Rome which gave its 
stability to the Christian world. 157 De Maistre 
identified sovereignty with infallibility, 158 and 
Ward would have followed him blindly in that 
striking claim. He himself, in the Dublin Review 
of which in 1859 he became editor, 159 devoted his 

154 Schrader, Pius IX als Papst und als Konig, 12. 

IBS Wilfrid Ward, W. G. Ward, and the Catholic Revival, p. 14. I 
owe much to this able and fascinating book. 

ise Cf. W. Ward, op. cit., Chapter V, for a general discussion of his 
father's position. 

157 Of. Du Pape (ed. of 1837), Vol. I, p. 345. 

158 IJ)id., I, 23. 

159 Wilfrid Ward, op. cit., p. 141. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 167 

energies to combating religious liberalism in every 
shape and form. He believed whole-heartedly 
'in shutting the intellect within the sacred in- 
fluences which the Church supplies, in order to 
preserve it from error. The freedom which leads 
to anarchy is the danger ; the surrender to restraint 
and authority is the safeguard.' 160 It is obvious 
that such an attitude must have led very easily 
and naturally to Ultramontanism. It was the 
more inevitable where the thinker was, once his 
premises had been reached, so rigorous a logician 
as Ward. Nor did he confine his doctrine to 
religion alone. He could not separate out the 
realms of thought. The world had to be drummed 
into subjection and the universal supremacy of 
the Pope was the weapon with which the change 
was to be effected. Few men have had so genuine 
and whole-hearted a belief in the medieval theoc- 
racy as Mr. Ward. A friend called him a 'theo- 
politician' and the epithet was literally true. 161 
The Holy Roman Empire most nearly achieved 
his ideal. He admired the ' civil intolerance of 
heresy.' In that time 'it was the civil ruler's 
highest function to co-operate with the Church in 
preserving unshaken the firm conviction of Catho- 
lic truth, and in preserving unsullied the purity 
and unearthliness of Catholic sentiment.' But 
that day has passed and the Church has lost its 
hold on the minds and hearts of men. ' They give 

io Op. tit., p. 133. 
ii Op. tit., p. 134. 



168 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

far more of their obedience to the Church than of 
their loyalty and affection; they give to her, and 
to God whose representative she is, but a divided 
allegiance.' 162 So the unity of the Church's sover- 
eignty is broken with the onset of liberalism. An 
aggressive campaign was essential if the enemy 
was to be defeated. 163 In the true ethics of Catholi- 
cism it could bear no part. 

The school of ecclesiastical thought most antago- 
nistic to Ward was nobly represented by Lord 
Acton. To the study of a man who so strenuously 
devoted a whole life to the understanding of 
liberty it is difficult to approach without emotion. 
Acton's life was spent in repelling at once the 
claims either of Church or State to a unique 
sovereignty over the minds of men. He saw that 
a State which attempts the control of ecclesiastical 
authority is virtually denying the right of religious 
freedom. 164 He no less equally and thoroughly 
condemned the whole effort of the Catholic Church 
after religious uniformity. 165 He saw the inevita- 
bility of a certain convergence between Church 
and State. ' She can not, ' he wrote of the Church, 16 * 
'permanently ignore the acts and character of the 
State or escape its notice. While she preaches 
submission to authorities ordained by God, her 

162 Op. tit., 176. 
"3 Op. cit., p. 186. 
i* History of Freedom, p. 151. 

IBS This is apparent in the famous essay on the massacre of Saint 
Bartholomew. 

166 History of Freedom, p. 246. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 169 

nature, not her interest, compels her to exert an 
involuntary influence upon them. The jealousy so 
often exhibited by government is not without 
reason, for the free action of the Church is the 
test of the free constitution of the State, and 
without that free constitution there must neces- 
sarily be either persecution or revolution. Between 
the settled organisation of Catholicism and every 
form of arbitrary power there is an incompati- 
bility which must terminate in conflict. In a State 
which possesses no security for authority or 
freedom, the Church must either fight or succumb/ 
The Catholic Church was thus a weapon in the 
search for liberty. Toleration was an essential 
part of its method. * Persecution is the vice of 
particular religions/ he argued; 167 'and the mis- 
fortune of particular stages of political society. 
It is the resource by which States that would be 
subverted by religious liberty escape the more 
dangerous alternative of imposing religious disa- 
bilities. The exclusion of a part of the community 
by reason of its faith from the full benefit of the 
law is a danger and disadvantage to every State, 
however highly organised its constitution may 
otherwise be. But the actual existence of a 
religious party differing in faith from the majority 
is dangerous only to a State very imperfectly 
organised. Disabilities are always a danger. 
Multiplicity of religions is only dangerous to 
States of an inferior type. ' Ultimately and f unda- 

i7 Ibid., p. 250. 



170 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

mentally the object of the Church and the State 
was not dissimilar. It was this essentially which 
prohibited the possibility of intolerance. Nor 
should the Church attempt to enslave the secular 
organ. 'The direct subservience of the State to 
religious ends/ he said, 168 ' would imply despotism 
and persecution just as much as the pagan 
supremacy of civil over religious authority.' 

These, it is clear, are the watchwords of liber- 
alism. Nor did he hesitate to draw from them 
certain obvious conclusions. The Papacy must 
suit its activities to the needs of the age. The 
plenitude potestatis of *Boniface VIII was no 
universal right which defied the problem of time. 
* The political power of the Holy See, ' he wrote, 18 ' 
'was never a universal right of jurisdiction over 
States, but a special and positive right, which it 
is as absurd to censure as to fear or to regret at 
the present time. Directly, it extended only over 
territories which were held by feudal tenure of 
the Pope, like the Sicilian monarchy. Elsewhere 
the authority was indirect, not political but reli- 
gious, and its political consequences were due to 
the laws of the land. ' He points out that the Pope 
can not interfere between the Crown and its sub- 
jects. 'The idea of the Pope stepping between a 
State and the allegiance of its subjects is a mere 
misapprehension. The instrument of his authority 
is the law, and the law resides in the State/ The 

168 Ibid., p. 251. 

189 Ibid., p. 256. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 171 

old notion of a right to depose was fundamentally 
at variance with the nature of ecclesiastical 
authority. 'A moral, and, a fortiori, a spiritual 
authority moves and lives only in an atmosphere 
of freedom. mo A control over every sphere of life 
it was not possible for the Church to claim. The 
spiritual world was hers; 'but the ethical and 
intellectual offices of the Church, as distinct from 
her spiritual office, are not hers exclusively or 
peculiarly.' 171 The worlds of politics and intelli- 
gence move on lines parallel to that of the spirit. 
The latter dare not challenge their right. 'A 
political law or a scientific truth may be perilous 
to the morals or the faith of individuals, but 
it can not on this ground be resisted by the 
Church. ... A discovery may be made in science 
which will shake the faith of thousands, yet 
religion can not refute it or object to it.' 'Within 
their respective spheres/ he said again, 172 'politics 
can determine what rights are just, science what 
truths are certain . . . they have become, not tools 
to be used by religion for her own interests, but 
conditions which she must observe in her actions 
and arguments. 7 The attempt to put truth into 
blinkers which W. G. Ward so vehemently con- 
doned seemed to him a profound mistake. It was 
making principles of no more than temporary 
value. Nor, in the end, was anything gained. 



p. 257. 
"i Ibid., p. 448. 
172 Hid., p. 453. 



172 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

"They have betrayed duties more sacred than the 
privileges for which they fought/ he said in 
eloquent condemnation of the Ultramontane 
School, 173 'they have lied before God and man; 
they have been divided into factions by the sup- 
posed interests of the Church, when they ought to 
have been united by her principles and her doc- 
trines; and against themselves they have justified 
those grave accusations of falsehood, insincerity, 
indifference to civil rights, and contempt for civil 
authorities which are uttered with such profound 
injustice against the Church.' ' Modern Society/ 
he urged, 174 'has developed no security for freedom, 
no instrument of progress, no means of arriving 
at truth, which we look upon with indifference or 
suspicion.' 

It is clearly a concordat with modern society 
that he is proposing, and perhaps no finer defence 
of religious liberty has ever been penned. 175 No 
less is it obvious that the proposal was utterly out 
of harmony with the dominant Catholicism of the 
time. Acton's own journalistic experiences were 
sufficient proof of the antithesis. 176 The very 
article in which his most eloquent defence of 
liberalism appeared was itself an announcement 

ITS ma., p. 455. 

174 ma., p. 457. 

ITS What freedom meant to Acton the reader can gather his own 
writings apart from the famous passage in Lord Bryce's Contem- 
porary Biography. Cf. also Figgis, Churches in the Modern State, pp. 
253-265. 

178 Cf. the introduction to Gasquet's Lord Acton and His Circle. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 173 

that those enterprises were concluded. 1 " For the 
alliance between scholarship and Catholic theology 
for which his whole life was so moving a plea was 
exactly the antithesis of that which the eccle- 
siastical authorities were willing to admit. His 
liberalism dethroned the Church from its position 
of universal sovereignty. It asked that control be 
surrendered over all save the sphere of the spirit. 
But this was to make an end of the 'intellectual 
captivity' which Ward and Manning deemed so 
essential. It was to expose the Catholic to dis- 
turbing influences he was perhaps unfitted to 
encounter. It gave a loophole to that 'thatige 
skepsis' of which the consequences could be seen 
in men like Darwin and Huxley. But its intel- 
lectual dangers apart, it contained implications 
which could never be admitted. The papal 
dominions apart, it entirely nullified the dream 
of a territorial sovereignty for Rome. It suggested 
that there was a system of rights in which heretics 
might be entitled to share. It drew a distinction 
between religious and political salvation. It im- 
plied the existence of a moral code to which the 
Roman Church, as any ordinary, and human, 
institution was subject. It gave to the laws of men 
a validity in their own sphere no less absolute than 
that which the Church had urged its own dogmas 
could alone enjoy. It was, in fact, the negation of 
every dogma of the Ultramontane belief. Nor did 
Acton take pains to conceal his antagonism. 

i" ' Conflicts with Home,' Home and Foreign Eeview, April, 1864. 



174 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Ultramontanism seemed to him politically dan- 
gerous and lie would perhaps have identified the 
two morally corrupt. 'A speculative Ultramon- 
tanism,' he wrote many years later, 178 i separate 
from theories of tyranny, mendacity, and murder, 
keeping honestly clear of the Jesuit with his lies, 
of the Dominican with his fagots, of the Popes with 
their massacres, has not yet been brought to light. ' 
It was obviously no more than a moral influence 
in the sphere of politics that Acton desired for his 
religion. He seems to have regarded it, in England 
at least, as a voluntary and dissenting sect, which, 
if in his eyes it enshrined the truth, might yet be 
held by others untrue, and could not force itself 
upon an unwilling people. 179 But so to believe in 
the age of Pius IX was to invite the onset of 
ecclesiastical tragedy. 

The position of Newman is most difficult, at any 
rate before 1870, to understand. 180 The implicit 
liberalism of his Difficulties of Anglicans has 
already been noted. He was sympathetic towards 
Acton in his journalistic difficulties. His struggle 
for a freer Catholic education suggests an accept- 
ance of some of the most fundamental of liberal 



ideas. 183 His antagonism to Manning is one of the 

. 

ITS Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone (2d ed.), p. 104. 

179 This, I take it, is the basic thought of the ' Political Thoughts on 
the Church,' History of Freedom, p. 188, seq. 

iso Of. the comments of Lord Acton in Letters to Mary Gladstone, 
pp. 35 and 107, especially p. 35. 

isi Cf. Wilfrid Ward, Life of Newman, Chapters XXI and XXIV. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 175 

most famous episodes in his career. Yet his 
liberalism is always wavering and hesitant, hedged 
about by subtle reservations and implied doubts 
so that it is dangerous to affix to him the label of 
any party. The attitude of W. G. Ward he 
stigmatised as ' preposterous,' 182 yet he did not 
hesitate to accept the Encyclical of 1864. He 
believed in papal infallibility because, seemingly, 
he did not deem it could be dangerous; 'I am 
confident,' he told Pusey, 183 'that it must be so 
limited practically that it will leave things as they 
are.' To the latter he defended the Jesuits the 
main weapon in the service of reaction. 184 He had 
written a famous article in the Rambler on the 
place of the laity in the Catholic Church which 
struck a serious blow at the notion of despotic 
ecclesiasticism. 185 He hated passionately the ex- 
treme Ultramontane views of Ward and Louis 
Veuillot, 186 which seemed to him to commit 
Catholic theology to a view entirely out of accord 
with historic tradition. Yet he insisted always on 
the necessity of implicit loyalty to the Pope. 'As 
a matter of Principle,' he wrote to Pusey, 187 'the 
Pope must have universal jurisdiction' because 
otherwise there would be no bond of unity in the 

182 Wilfrid Ward, Life of Newman, II, 101. 
iss nid., II, 101. 
is* Ibid., II, 114. 

ISB Cf. Life, VoL II, Chapter XXV, for an account of the Curia's 
attitude to it. 

186 Of. the impressive comment of Mr. Wilfrid Ward, Life, II, 213. 

187 Life, II, 223. 



176 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Church. 'An. honorary head,' he said, 188 'call him 
primate, or premier duke, does not affect the real 
force, or enter into the essence of a political body 
and is not worth contending about.' Yet at the 
same time that he endorsed this virtual Austin- 
ianism he noted the limitations in practice. 'His 
abstract power is not a practical fact. ... I ob- 
serve it is not so much even an abstract doctrine 
as it is a principle; by which I mean something 
far more subtle and intimately connected with our 
system itself than a doctrine, so as not to be con- 
tained in the written law, but to be, like the 
common law of the land, or rather the principles 
of the Constitution, contained in the very idea of 
our being what we are.' 189 It is perhaps not 
difficult to understand why the abstractly logical 
mind of Ward should have been puzzled by the 
tortuous subtleties of Newman's attitude. He 
does, in fact, seem, on occasion, to have been rather 
the master, than the servant of truth. 



IV 

At Borne there were few hesitations. The 
dogmatisation of the Immaculate Conception was 
essentially a Jesuit victory, 190 and it was the Jesuits 
who were the main upholders of papal infalli- 

iss Ibid, and cf . his emphatic protest against the idea that he was a 
minimiser, Life, II, 218. 

189 Life, II, 218. 

190 Nielsen, II, 195. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 177 

bility. 191 Ten years after its promulgation, on the 
eighth of December, 1864, came the Encyclical 
Quanta Cura, and its accompanying Syllabus of 
errors. 192 In these Pius virtually declared war on 
modern society. The encyclical condemned the 
application of naturalism to civil society, liberty of 
conscience, the right of public worship, the free- 
dom of the press. Communism was condemned 
as a 'destructive error'; excommunication was 
launched against those who should attack either 
the rights or the property of the Church. 193 But 
striking as was the papal brief, it was almost weak 
by the side of the formidable Syllabus. Theologi- 
cal questions apart, the denunciations wandered 
boldly into the civil sphere. It was no longer 
permissible to argue that either popes or councils 
had exceeded their power ; 194 that the Church could 
not avail herself of force or of direct or indirect 
temporal power; 195 that National Churches could 
be established ; 198 that the civil law ought to prevail 
in a contest between Church and State; 197 that 
Church and State should be separated; 198 that the 
civil authority may pronounce marriages dis- 

191 Acton, History of Freedom, p. 496. 

192 The authoritative exposition on the papal side is Schrader, Die 
Encyclika (1865). 

193 Cf . Nielsen 's comment, op. tit., II, 259. 
i* Syllabus section 23. 

195 Section, 24. 
198 Section, 37. 

197 Section 42. 

198 Section 55. 



178 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

solved ; 199 that a civil contract can constitute a true 
marriage; 200 that the Catholic religion need no 
longer be the only religion of the State; 201 and, 
finally, there came the last and most tremendous 
of anathemas against the thought that the Roman 
Pontiff could or should reconcile himself with 
progress, liberalism and modern civilisation. 202 

The promulgation of this tremendous indict- 
ment had not been made without opposition or 
careful thought. The task had occupied four able 
theologians of the Curia almost ten years. 203 
Dupanloup had urged Antonelli to withhold it on 
the ground that trouble would be bound to follow 
its publication; and the Archbishop of Tours had 
given similar advice. 20 * It was probably the 
growth of liberal Catholicism in France and 
Belgium which finally provoked its promulgation. 
In the Congress of Malines in 1863, Montalembert 
had read a brilliant essay on a 'Free Church in a 
Free State' and had been immediately delated to 
Rome. 205 The publication of most of the Syllabus 
in France was actually prohibited by the French 
government. 206 In England, Newman insisted that 

199 Section 67. 

200 Section 73. 

201 Section 79. 

202 Section 80. 

203 Nielsen, II, 262. 

204 Dupanloup 's protest is very striking. See the life by Lagrange, 
II, 279. 

205 The essay was published in 1865. For the charge of heresy, see 
Oliphant, Memoir of Montalembert, II, 268. 

2o Nielsen, II, 265. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 179 

the document did not come from the Pope; 207 but 
W. GL Ward immediately accepted it as infallible, 
and seems to have rejoiced in the variety of sub- 
jects with which it dealt. 208 It seems probable that 
Newman's view was the more correct; for Lord 
Acton has pointed out that the officials of the Curia 
emphasised the informality of the Syllabus and 
that Pius himself did not dare to repudiate the 
minimising interpretations. 209 But when all the 
explanations had been made, the document still 
remained as a forcible and thoroughgoing chal- 
lenge. 

A yet more striking determination was to come. 
Even before the issue of the Syllabus, his decision 
to effect the restoration of the papal power had 
made Pius convinced of the necessity of a General 
Council. 210 The need of the Church, doctrinally, 
politically, intellectually, was immense, and the 
decision was in a high degree intelligible. Nor 
was care lacking to obtain a general consensus of 
ecclesiastical opinion before any decisive step was 
taken. 211 By 1867, Pius had finally made up his 
mind ; and some of the bishops who were at Rome 
for the celebration of the eighteenth celebration 
of St. Peter urged the need for a definition of papal 

207 Life, II, 101. 

208 w. G. Ward and the Catholic Revival, p. 248. 

209 History of Freedom, p. 496. Lord Acton 'a testimony is the more 
important since he probably had access to what he called the 'esoteric' 
sources. 

210 History of Freedom, p. 492. 

211 Nielsen, II, 291. 



180 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

infallibility. 'To proclaim the Pope infallible,' 
says Lord Acton, 212 'was their compendious secu- 
rity against hostile States and Churches, against 
human liberty and authority, against disintegrat- 
ing tolerance, and rationalising science, against 
error and sin. ' Even at the time when the dogma 
of the Immaculate Conception had been promul- 
gated, the idea of infallibility had been in Pius' 
mind. 213 Manning, then in Home, had taken a vow 
to devote his utmost efforts to secure the publica- 
tion of the new dogma ; and on his return to Eng- 
land he began to move Catholic opinion in that 
direction. 214 The Jesuits, of course, were whole- 
heartedly enthusiastic; and the presence of three 
of their leading members upon the dogmatic 
commission seemed to point to the direction in 
which affairs would trend. 215 

The determination was not made known without 
grave misgivings on the part of those outside 
the Ultramontane party. Manning tells us that 
Baron Hiibner, then Austrian ambassador at 
Rome, felt it would injure the Church ; 21<5 even the 
ecclesiastically minded Ollivier feared that the 
omission of an invitation to the sovereigns of 
Europe was tantamount to the separation of 

212 History of Freedom, p. 495. Cf. Manning, True Story of the 
Vatican Council, p. 53. 

213 Friedrich, Tagebuch, p. 294. 

si* Purcell, Life of Manning, II, 420. 
216 History of Freedom, p. 500. 
216 Purcell, II, 457. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 181 

Church and State. 217 Prince Hohenlohe, then 
foreign minister of Bavaria, urged the govern- 
ments of Europe to intervene; 218 and the publica- 
tion of Janus' Pope and the Council gave the 
liberal Catholics possession of an overwhelming 
historical indictment against the projected defini- 
tion which neither the action of the Index nor the 
reply of Hergenrother could adequately efface. 
Hefele, greater as a historian than as a bishop, 
condemned infallibility in a stinging phrase. 219 In 
England, Newman did not conceal his fears. He 
stimulated Father Ryder to write a trenchant 
attack on Ward's extremism, and personally 
identified his views with those of the pamphlet. 220 
He urged a friend to discuss the condemnation of 
Pope Honorius, one of the crucial cases in the argu- 
ment against infallibility. 221 The dogma itself he 
regarded not as certain but as probable and ' any- 
how it ... must be fenced round and limited by 
conditions." 22 While he did not doubt that what 
the General Council pronounced would be the 
word of God, ' still we may,' he wrote to Canon 
Walker, 223 'well feel indignant at the intrigue, 
trickery and imperiousness which is the human 
side of its history and it seems a dereliction of 

217 Nielsen, II, 296. 
2i8J6id., II, 301. 

218 Ibid., II, 310. 

220 Life, II, 224. 

221 Hid., II, 235. 

222 ma., II, 236. 

223 Hid., II, 240. 



182 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

duty not to do one's part to meet them.' He 
criticised with scornful indignation the 'v/fy>is op 
6i<av Kvw&aXtov, the arrogant ipse dixit of various 
persons who would crush every opinion in theology 
which is not theirs, ' 224 -and elsewhere he stigmatised 
the extreme Ultramontanes as an 'insolent and 
aggressive faction.' 225 He prayed 'those great 
early Doctors of the Church ... to avert so great 
a calamity. If it is God's will that the Pope's 
infallibility should be defined, then it is his blessed 
will to throw back the times and moments of that 
triumph He has destined for His Kingdom.' 226 
What is done, he told Ambrose de Lisle, 227 'I will 
accept as His act ; but until then, I will believe it 
impossible.' Nor did he like the atmosphere in 
which the proposed definition was enshrouded. 
'To outsiders like me,' he told Father Whitty, 228 
'it would seem as if a grave dogmatic question was 
being treated merely as a move in ecclesiastical 
politics,' and he pointed out its effect in causing 
a recrudescence of anti-Catholic sentiment in 
England. It is clear that Newman was absolutely 
convinced of the impolicy of the Jesuits' decision 
even while he was prepared loyally to abide by its 
consequences. 

Protests of all kinds, were, however, unavailing ; 
and after some stormy scenes the Council passed 

224 Ibid., H, 241. 

225 For the curious history of this epithet see the Life, II, 289-290. 

226 Life, II, 288. 

227 ibid., II, 293. 

228 ibid., II, 298. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 183 

the dogma on the eighteenth of July, 1870. 229 Amid 
the horrors of the Franco-German War and the 
almost immediate fall of Rome men perhaps 
hardly realised that the event had come to pass. 
It had, of course, its tremendous consequences. 
The excommunication of Dollinger deprived the 
Church of its greatest living historian; 230 and if 
Hefele submitted it was permissible to doubt 
whether he believed. 231 Infallibility did not pre- 
vent the confiscation of Church property in Italy, 232 
and in Germany it gave birth to the famous Falck 
Laws. Bavaria did not permit the publication of 
the Bull which announced the definition on the 
ground that priests could no longer be loyal sub- 
jects of the Crown. 233 France was too occupied 
with its internal reconstruction to pay much atten- 
tion to the change ; and, in any case, nationalistic 
sentiment would probably have been sufficient to 
prevent any action similar to that of Germany. 
It was on political and diplomatic grounds that the 
publication of Veuillot's paper, L'Univers, was 
forbidden. 234 

In England, for the moment, the definition made 
little stir. Statesmen were more interested in the 
Franco-German War, and its possible relation to 

22 Nielsen, II, 371 f. History of Freedom, p. 549. 

230 A very beautiful little volume translated in England as Letters 
and Declarations on the Vatican Decrees gives the history of Dollinger 'a 
relation to the Church after the definition. 

231 Cf . Schulte, Die Altakatholicisimis, pp. 222, 223-228. 

232 Nielsen, II, 431. 

233 Nielsen, II, 431. 
23* Nielsen, II, 449. 



184 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Belgium to give heed to the politics of ecclesias- 
ticism. Measures like the Education and Land 
Bills were more than sufficient to absorb their 
attention. But in 1873, Mr. Gladstone's Irish 
University Bill failed and the Irish Catholic 
bishops were mainly responsible for its failure. 235 
In the next year Mr. Gladstone retired from the 
leadership of the Liberal party, and, in his leisure, 
had the opportunity to renew his acquaintance 
with Dr. Dollinger. Not unnaturally he studied 
anew the problem of infallibility and he could not 
help being moved to indignation at the sufferings 
of a man whose only faults were his scholarship 
and his honesty. With Mr. Gladstone, thought 
was commensurate with action. On his return to 
England he launched a bitter attack on the Ritual- 
ist movement in the Anglican Church. He traced 
its existence to the new and vaunting pretensions 
of the Roman Curia. It has, he wrote, 236 'substi- 
tuted for the proud boast of semper eadem a 
policy of violence and change of faith . . . when 
no one can become her convert without renouncing 
his moral and mental freedom, and placing his civil 
loyalty and duty at the mercy of another. ' 

These were hard words, and it was perhaps not 
unnatural that they should have aroused keen 
resentment. 237 But it was not Mr. Gladstone's 

236 So Ward in the Life of Newman, II, 401, and Gladstone, Vati- 
canism, p. 41. 

236 Contemporary Review, 1874, p. 671. 

237 Vatican Decrees, p. 7. I use an edition of 1874 published in New 
York by Appletons. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 185 

habit to shrink from justifying his conclusions. 
In his Vatican Decrees in their bearing on Civil 
Allegiance he explained at length the causes which 
had led to his angry outburst. The Church of 
Rome, he argued, occupied a position essentially 
different from all other churches. While they 
loyally accepted the sovereignty of the State in 
return for their religious freedom, the Church of 
Rome, like the medieval Church, desired to lord it 
over the world. 238 That desire might be resisted 
as of old were not Rome now fighting with new 
weapons ; for she had made a claim to the accept- 
ance of her demands incompatible either with 
civil right or the duty of obedience. 239 He urges 
that in the Syllabus of 1864, 'Rome has refurbished 
and paraded anew every rusty tool she was fondly 
thought to have disused.' 240 The effect of this 
novelty is to bring once more into the field of 
discussion certain civil questions which must be 
answered differently from the reply given at the 
time of Catholic emancipation. He points out that 
the strength of antagonism to Catholic liberties 
'had lain in the allegation that it was not possible 
for the consistent Roman Catholic to pay to the 
Crown of this country an entire allegiance, and 
that the admission of persons, thus self-disabled, 
to Parliament, was inconsistent with the safety of 
State and nation/ 2 * 1 But satisfactory assurances 

zss ibid., p. 11. 
239 Ibid., p. 12. 

2*0 Ibid., p. 16. 

2*1 Ibid., p. 25. 



186 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

were given, and the emphatic denial of civil 
responsibility to the Pope made by men like 
Bishop Doyle, the declaration of the Vicars 
Apostolic, and the Hierarchy, was sufficient to 
make men accept as a limitation in theory what 
was inevitably necessary as a limitation in prac- 
tice. 242 But the situation, in Mr. Gladstone's view, 
had now changed. 'Since that time,' he wrote, 248 
'all these propositions have been reversed. The 
Pope's infallibility, when he speaks ex cathedra 
on faith and morals, has been declared, with the 
assent of the Bishops of the Roman Church, to 
be an article of faith, binding on the conscience 
of every Christian; his claim to the obedience of 
his spiritual subjects has been declared in like 
manner without any practical limit or reserve; 
and his supremacy, without any reserve of civil 
rights, has been similarly affirmed to include 
everything which relates to the discipline and 
government of the Church throughout the world. 
And these doctrines, we now know on the high- 
est authority, it is of necessity for salvation 
to believe.' 

This seemed to him a claim to universal sover- 
eignty. It would of necessity involve the State 
no less than the individual. The medieval history 
of the Papacy showed how easily the gap between 
individual and corporate difficulty might be 
bridged. There were cases of national protest and 

242 ibid., p. 31-33. 

243 Hid., p. 33. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 187 

the Papacy did not always emerge successful from 
the conflict. Yet, on the whole, a theory of sepa- 
rate spheres, such as was the basis of the Roman 
Catholic Relief Act, was worked out a theory 
for which it seems that Mr. Gladstone did not 
hesitate to claim divine sanction. 244 But of this an 
end had been made. The stern demand for abso- 
lute obedience * swept into the papal net whole 
multitudes of facts, whole systems of government, 
prevailing, though in different degrees, in every 
country in the world.' 245 It denied the severance 
of Church and State even while it asserted the 
superiority of the former organisation. It drew 
within the ecclesiastical domain much of what had 
formerly been deemed matter for the State's 
decision. The result was that 'this new version 
of the principles of the papal Church inexorably 
binds its members to the admission of these exorbi- 
tant claims, without any refuge or reservation on 
behalf of their duty to the Crown.' 246 The civil 
loyalty of Catholics was thus made impossible 
since their ecclesiastical sovereign had claimed the 
rights of their temporal sovereign also. 

If this was a logical deduction from the Decree 
of 1870 two conclusions seemed to Mr. Gladstone 
to follow. Either the Catholics must reject the 
possible civic interpretation of the new dogma, or 
the assurances of the twenties must be repeated. 

244 Ibid., p. 41. 
2*5 /bid., p. 43. 
id., p. 45. 



188 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

For the claims had substance behind them. It was 
true that the Court of Rome could neither secure 
an invasion of England, or fulfil the visions of 
Gregory VII. 247 But a contest with civic authority 
Rome was determined to have, and the result of 
the Palck Laws seemed to him to demonstrate that 
she was merely fighting her enemies one by one. 248 
The events in Germany and the intransigeant 
policy of Rome in Italy seemed to him to portend 
danger of no mean kind. It was a serious incentive 
to European wars because the possible disaffection 
of Roman Catholic subjects might hinder the 
action of the State. 249 He seems to suggest that 
the type of influence which the Dogma of Infalli- 
bility of 1870 is bound to extend was shown in the 
influence of the Irish prelates over the Nationalist 
members in 1873. 250 The attitude of converts to 
Rome seems to him fraught with danger. The 
phrase 'a Catholic first, an Englishman afterward' 
seems to him now to mean 'that the "convert" 
intends, in case of conflict between the Queen and 
the Pope, to follow the Pope, and let the Queen 
shift for herself ; which happily, she well can do. J251 
Before 1870 Mr. Gladstone felt that he could ask for 
religious liberty 'for whatsoever be the follies of 
ecclesiastical power in his Church, the Church 

247 ibid., p. 47. 

248 Hid., p. 50. 

2*9 Ibid., p. 52. It is curious to speculate how differently Mr. Glad- 
stone would have written in 1916. 
2^0 ibid., p. 62. 
251 Ibid., p. 64. 



itself, has not required of him, with binding 
authority, to assent to any principles inconsistent 
with his civil duty." 52 But of that consolation he 
has been deprived even though he will continue to 
urge the necessity of toleration. For, at bottom, 
he believes in the loyalty of English Catholics. 
What they did in the sixteenth century they will, 
he hopes, do in the nineteenth. He hopes it, and 
expects that it will be so. And into the hateful 
path of religious persecution England will not 
be drawn by the ' myrmidons of the Apostolic 
Chamber.' 253 

If it is in no sense an original thesis, it is, at all 
events, an ably argued one, and it derived a peculiar 
significance when maintained by the most impor- 
tant of English statesmen. The whole point of 
Mr. Gladstone's thesis was in his emphasis on the 
novelty of the position in which English Catholics 
had been placed : they had before been able truth- 
fully to make declaration of their loyalty; now 
they were compelled to make choice between Queen 
and Pope. But, as a fact, Mr. Gladstone's argu- 
ment was vitiated by exactly the same fallacies as 
those which, half a century before, had been used 
to defeat Catholic emancipation. He depicted 
Vaticanism as an attack on the sovereignty of the 
State. The sphere of the latter body was invaded 
if the implications of papal infallibility were 
fulfilled. But that was in its turn to imply that 

252 Hid., p. 65. 

253 Hid., p. 67. 



190 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

the claims were possible of fulfilment, and of this 
Mr. Gladstone himself made emphatic denial. It 
was exactly that old problem of a unified allegiance 
which, as Sydney Smith had so whimsically shown, 
no man can have if his interests are of a varied 
character. 254 It was not very serious that Pius IX 
should make claim to the lordship of the world 
if he could not make good his pretensions. If 
Catholics did not obey the Papacy in the sixteenth 
or in the seventeenth century, when the reality of 
its power was a far more powerful tradition with 
men, it was hardly likely that they would bow to 
it in the nineteenth, when its temporal possessions 
were gone and it stood as a forlorn ghost of a glory 
which now adorned a novel and secular power. 
To a claim of spiritual supremacy Mr. Gladstone 
could raise no objection; he had himself often 
enough lamented the Erastianism of the English 
State. 255 If, as it seemed, the spiritual demand 
was justified, and the temporal was unimportant, 
Mr. Gladstone was fighting a shadow. The sover- 
eignty he feared had no more than a historic 
interest. It depended, as he must have realised, 
on the consent of men ; and there was no evidence 
that that consent could in any dangerous degree 
be obtained. 

The answers to Mr. Gladstone's pamphlets were 
varying in nature, and perhaps of a greater interest 
than his own attack. Manning at once declared 

254 Supra, n. 22. 

255 Morley, Life, I, 282. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 191 

that the decrees 'have in no jot or tittle changed 
either the obligations or the conditions of civil 
allegiance' of Catholics whose * civil allegiance is 
as undivided as that of all Christians, and of all 
men who recognise a divine or moral natural law' ; 
but he was careful to emphasise that 'the civil 
allegiance of no man is unlimited, and therefore 
the civil allegiance of all men who believe in God, 
and are governed by conscience, is in that sense 
divided.' 256 Lord Acton pointed out that the 
claims of the Ultramontane school had a far longer 
history than Mr. Gladstone cared to admit, and 
he wisely, if a little sardonically, suggested that 
to repel the demand of the Pope needed a little 
more than 'a written demonstration.' 2 " 'The fact 
is,' said Lord Emly, one of the most distinguished 
of Catholic laymen, 258 'we should deal with a 
Pope's orders to be disloyal as Stephen Langton 
and the Barons of Runnymede dealt with a similar 
order. ' Lord Camoys and Mr. Henry Petre spoke 
in similar fashion. 259 Nor were Protestants want- 
ing to repudiate Mr. Gladstone's contentions. His 
assumptions appeared to the Edinburgh Review 
entirely erroneous. 'English Roman Catholics,' it 
wrote, 260 'are quite as loyal now as they were in 
the days of Lord Howard of Emngham and the 
Spanish Armada ... all men in some degree hold 

25 Times of November 9, 1874. 

257 Times, same date as the letter of Manning. 

zss Life of A. P. de Lisle, Vol. II, p. 56. 

250 Annual Register for 1874, p. 105. 

2o Edinburgh Eeview, July, 1875, p. 557. 



192 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

a divided allegiance to conscience and the law. A 
Quaker who refuses to take an oath ... A Non- 
conformist who refuses to pay a Church rate, . . . 
the High Church party in England, are contin- 
ually setting the law at defiance. We think these 
conscientious people are mistaken, hut we do not 
accuse them of throwing off their allegiance/ and, 
in an admirable sentence it pointed out that 
* Catholics do and can give their consciences the 
benefit of the great "nevertheless." ' 261 The 
Times, while pointing out that certain claims of 
Dr. Manning would ' possess the power of deter- 
mining for Queen Victoria and her subjects the 
bounds of their mutual obligations,' did not fear 
the claims. ' The guns may look very formidable, ' 
it argued, 262 'but they require men to fire them; and 
if the word of command should ever be given, the 
obedience rendered to it will be too irregular to 
produce any dangerous result.' Father Reilly 
protested that a truly divine religion could not 
possibly make its members disloyal subjects of 
society. 263 Clearly, here, the notion of an absolute 
sovereignty is disregarded altogether. Your sover- 
eign obtains what obedience he can, and it seems 
to be admitted that the judgment, or the con- 
science, of men, is in truth the actual arbiter of 
events. 
Yet different interpretations were not wanting. 

2i Ibid., p. 559. 

zea Times of November 14, 1874. 

263 See the quotation from his pamphlet in the Dublin Review for 
1876, p. 83. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 193 

W. G. Ward boldly stated that the Bull Unam 
Sanctam was his ideal and that he had 'no other 
wish than that its doctrines may find acceptance 
in Europe. ' 284 The ground of his attitude is quite 
evident. A Catholic theocracy on earth was his 
ideal and without the absolute supremacy of the 
Pope it seemed to him that anarchy would follow. 285 
Ambrose de Lisle, on the other hand, thought 'it 
dangerous and untrue' thus to assert the supe- 
riority of the ecclesiastical to the civil power, or 
to suggest that the former defined the limits of the 
latter. 268 The distinguished historian Thirlwall 
echoed with grave concern Mr. Gladstone's theo- 
ries. 'It has now become impossible,' he said, 267 
'for a Roman Catholic, consistently with the first 
principles of his religion, to be a loyal subject of 
any government which is not itself subject to the 
Pope.' Canon Oakeley, one of the most distin- 
guished of the Newmanite converts, argued that 
the Syllabus and its consequences embodied no 
more than the natural consequences of the Oxford 
Movement. 'There is not,' he told Mr. Glad- 
stone, 288 ' one of the popular maxims condemned in * 
the Syllabus which such men as Mr. Keble and 
Mr. Hurrell Froude would not have held in utter 
detestation,' and he argued for the dutiful recep- 
tion of the Vatican decrees. But the two fullest 

26* Dublin 'Review, 1875, p. 179. 

265/6td., p. 197. 

zee Times of November 23, 1874. 

287 Charges, Vol. II, p. 302. 

268 Annual Register for 1874, p. 107. 



194 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

answers, on the Ultramontane side, to Mr. Glad- 
stone, came from Manning, and Ms subordinate, 
Monsignor Capel. Cardinal Manning, in his brief 
note to the Times, had already explained that the 
civil allegiance of Catholics was unimpaired by the 
promulgation of the dogma. He now explained 
the grounds upon which his assertion was based. 
He pointed out again that no allegiance is undi- 
vided. ' Every moral being/ he wrote, 269 'is under 
two authorities, human and divine. The child is 
under the authority of parents, and the authority 
of God; the subject is under the authority of the 
Civil State and the divine authority of natural 
or revealed religion. Unless we claim infallibility 
for the State, its acts must be liable to revision and 
resistance by natural conscience. An unlimited 
obedience to parents or to States would generate 
a race of unlimited monsters. ' So far he had done 
no more than to give an admirable criticism of 
Austinianism. But he proceeded to questions of 
a different kind. He urged that to allow complete 
liberty of conscience was virtually to allow anarchy 
and against this the Church must provide corporate 
protection. The sixty-third proposition of the 
Syllabus adjudged anathema against him who 
rebelled against legitimate princes. 'The political 
conscience of Catholics/ he said, 270 'is not left to 
the individual judgment alone. It is guided by the 
whole Christian morality, by the greatest system 

269 The Vatican Decrees, London, 1875, p. 37. 

270 Ibid., p. 38. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 195 

of ethical legislation the world has ever seen, the 
Canon Law and the Moral Theology of the Catholic 
Church. 7 But this was virtually to admit that the 
Church controlled the Catholic as a citizen, which 
was exactly the position against which Mr. Glad- 
stone had made his protest. Nor did Manning 
stop here. While he admitted that, within his own 
sphere, the State was a perfect and supreme 
society, he denied that it was the highest society 
on earth ; 271 the Church was higher than the State 
because it had a higher aim and was therefore 
supreme above the State. What did that suprem- 
acy imply? One thing only to his mind: that the 
Church only can fix the limits of its own juris- 
diction; 272 and he admitted that if it can fix the 
limits of its own jurisdiction, it can fix the limits 
of all other jurisdictions. From this, as he con- 
ceived, two consequences followed : the Church did 
not concern itself with temporal matters, and in 
all things which hinder or promote the eternal 
happiness of men, the Church has a power to judge 
and enforce/ 278 

It will perhaps be admitted that the argument 
is more controversially interesting than historically 
accurate. Its truth can only be maintained by 
giving to the word i eternal' a connotation which 
includes all temporal things. But temporal things 
had been adjudged the province of the State, and 

271 Hid., p. 46. 

272 Hid., p. 54. 

p. 55. 



196 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

on that basis Manning had suggested that if each 
organisation kept to its rightful sphere, collision 
was impossible. He did not doubt which was the 
offender. ' Modern Liberalism, ' he wrote in 1877, 27 * 
4s the Caesarism of the State. Liberalism seems 
to believe that "all power in heaven and on earth" 
was given to it that the State has power to define 
the limits of its own jurisdiction and also those 
of the Church. All sin and blasphemy against God 
is forgiven to men. There is only one unpardon- 
able sin. Any one who speaks a word against the 
omnipotence of the State is disloyal, and shall 
never be forgiven.' So thoroughgoing a criticism 
leaves no doubt as to the direction in which 
Manning's sympathies lay. Theoretically, it seems 
clear that his attitude lays itself open to the 
objections urged by Mr. Gladstone. If only the 
Church could define the limits of her jurisdiction, 
and if she chose, as under Gregory VII and 
Innocent III, the medieval Church seems to have 
chosen, to interfere with every possible domain of 
civilised life, then collision between Church and 
State was not merely possible but inevitable. That, 
in fact, was the central problem of Ultramontan- 
ism. It postulated a theocracy of which the Pope 
was the Austinian sovereign. It could hardly then 
be surprised if those out of sympathy with Catholic 
ideals showed themselves unwilling to admit such 
unlimited power. Cardinal Manning, indeed, 
when confronted with the facts, seems to have 

2*4 Nineteenth Century, 1877, Vol. I, p. 804. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 197 

been driven to that conclusion. "The first prin- 
ciples of morals,' he wrote in a very striking 
paragraph, 275 'forbid the extension of the supreme 
judicial power of the Church on such a civil order 
as that of England. When it was de facto subject 
to the Church, England had, by its own free will, 
accepted the laws of the Church. It can never 
again be subject to such laws except on the same 
condition namely, by its own free will. Till then 
the highest laws of morality render the exercise 
of such Pontifical acts in England impossible.' 
It is difficult to see exactly why this should be the 
case unless the Austinianism for which Manning 
had previously contended becomes impossible. For 
whereas he had argued for a papal sovereignty 
based upon Divine Bight, now he does not ask for 
its exercise except upon the basis of human consent 
to its activities. In such a connotation the Austin- 
ian spectre is more formidable in appearance than 
in reality. 

Monsignor Capel went even further in the 
direction of an extreme interpretation than Man- 
ning. His historical disquisition it is probably 
unnecessary at this date to treat with any serious- 
ness; it is in his political theses that the interest 
of his pamphlet lies. 276 He explains that God has 
established on earth three powers, paternal, civil 
and spiritual. 'Each of these powers is supreme 
and independent in its own province ; has full and 

275 Vaticanism, p. 79. 

2 A Ecply to Mr. Gladstone's Political Expostulation, London, 1875. 



198 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

free activity in its own order; preserves its own 
autonomy ; and ought never to be absorbed by either 
of the other powers.' 277 We have, in fact, a kind 
of Presbyterian doctrine of three kingdoms instead 
of two, and since allegiance to each is absolute, the 
theory is really, on the surface at least, a theory 
of toleration and liberty. But then Monsignor 
Capel begins to introduce curious limitations. He 
explains that the Spiritual Power is pre-eminent 
over the other two not only because of 'its nobler 
end and greater empire, but also in its very 
nature'; for that reason 'it is manifest that this 
power is not exercised directly in its own sphere, 
but likewise indirectly over the actions of the other 
two powers. In this sense, it is supreme, and the 
other powers are subordinate to it. ' 278 So that the 
freedom and independence of which he had pre- 
viously spoken are not really existent. He explains 
the cause of this seeming contradiction. 'The 
Church has held,' he writes, 279 'that politics, or the 
science which treats of the State, must necessarily, 
from its ethical character, present many points of 
contact with revealed truth. The principles on 
which it is based flow from the natural law. They 
can never, therefore, be in real contradiction with 
the precepts of the divine and positive law. Hence 
the State, if it only remain true to its fundamental 
principles, must ever be in the completest harmony 



td., p. 53. 
d., p. 54. 
2T9 Ibid., p. 55. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 199 

with the Church and Revelation. Now so long as 
this harmony continues, the Church has neither 
call nor right to interfere with politics, for earthly 
politics do not fall within her jurisdiction. The 
moment, however, the State becomes unfaithful to 
its principles, and contravenes the divine and 
positive law, that moment it is the Church's right 
and duty, as the guardian of revealed truth, to 
interfere, and to proclaim to the State the truths 
which it has ignored, and to condemn the erro- 
neous maxims which it has adopted.' So that, in 
the last analysis, the Ultramontanism of which 
Capel was representative is only willing to allow 
the State its freedom so long as its actions meet 
with the approval of the Church. It goes back 
to medieval ideas, and reduces politics to a branch 
of theological study of the truth of which it is 
necessarily and obviously the sole arbiter. 280 So 
that we ultimately have a State that finds the 
expression of its freedom in compliance with the 
wishes of the Church; and the Church, we are 
told, has judged of the conduct of States as a 
consequence of the universal desire of nations. 281 
It is perfectly clear, therefore, that Monsignor 
Capel 's theories of the Church make it logically 
impossible to hold the idea of separate supremacies 
which he had previously put forward; for a 
supremacy that is not supreme seems rather to 

280 Cf . the very valuable remarks of Dr. Figgis on this nation in the 
introductory lecture to his Gerson to Grotius. 

281 A Beply to Mr. Gladstone's Political Expostulation, p. 61. 



200 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

belong to a Looking-Glass world than to a well- 
reasoned political treatise. It was essentially to 
bring out the implications of this Ultramontanism, 
historically and politically, that Dollinger had 
written his Pope and the Council and Mr. Glad- 
stone his pamphlet. Logically, Monsignor Capel, 
like Manning, virtually admits the main conclu- 
sions at which Mr. Gladstone arrived, and in theory 
their conclusions led exactly to that questionable 
loyalty of which he spoke as established by the 
new dogma. Where both he and they were in error 
was in their regarding an Austinian sovereignty 
as a working hypothesis. Theoretically admirable, 
in practice it would not work. Mr. Frederic 
Harrison made this abundantly clear in an admir- 
able letter. ' Exeter Hall denounced the opium 
war/ he wrote, 282 'some of our civil and military 
officers are under the inspiration of Exeter Hall; 
therefore we may expect them to desert to the 
enemy in a possible war with China. These 
exercises of irritating logic are as easy as they 
are puerile. If every opinion a man may hold is 
to be followed out to what we think its logical 
result, and every man is to be supposed in any 
dilemma which our ingenuity can frame, every 
man is a rebel/ The pity was that the advocates 
of Ultramontanism did not see the application of 
these remarks no less to their own demands upon 

282 i n a letter to the New York Herald quoted in Monsignor Capel 'a 
pamphlet, p. 67. The whole letter is an admirable exposition of the 
real meaning of sovereignty. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 201 

the minimisers of their own faith, than to the 
criticism passed upon them by Mr. Gladstone. 

For the fact is, that in any contest between life 
and logic, it is not logic that is successful. It 
required a man whose philosophic outlook was 
essentially based upon this realisation to under- 
stand the actual nature of the debate. Newman's 
Grammar of Assent, then but four years old, was 
above all things a study of the psychology of 
mental processes, and a demonstration that certain 
dormant conceptions, when once aroused, would 
justify convictions for which no logic could ade- 
quately account. 283 But the line between belief and 
action was not very wide and it required but a step 
to transfer the ideas of the philosophical volume 
to the political arena. Quite early in the con- 
troversy with Mr. Gladstone he determined to 
speak out his mind, and though his 'old 
fingers' he was then seventy-three 'did not 
move quick,' he seems to have worked with aston- 
ishing rapidity. 28 * The Letter to the Duke of 
Norfolk the Apologia apart, was Newman's 
masterpiece. Its profound psychology, its sub- 
tlety, its humour, its loyalty to his friends, its 
whimsical castigation of his enemies, place it in 

283 it would be interesting to trace the relation of this attitude to 
the current psychology of the unconscious. It is of course the argu- 
ment of James in the famous lecture on Bergson in his Pluralistic 
Universe. 

28* The Letter to the Duke of Norfolk was begun in October, 1874, 
and published in January, 1875. Ward, Life of Newman, II, 402-403. 

zss I use an edition published by the Catholic Truth Society of New 
York in 1875 and all references are to that edition. 



202 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

a class by itself of the controversy of which it 
formed a part. But it is more than a piece of 
ephemeral argument. It remains with some 
remarks of Sir Henry Maine and a few brilliant 
dicta of F. W. Maitland as perhaps the pro- 
foundest discussion of the nature of obedience 
and of sovereignty to be found in the English 
language. In the reply to his critics which Mr. 
Gladstone published it is clear that of this argu- 
ment alone did he take serious account. 286 For 
Newman, even apart from his theology, was an 
able political thinker who had devoted the twelve 
years of his connexion with the Oxford Movement 
to the study of the problem of sovereignty in its 
acutest phase that of Church and State. The 
pamphlet, in a sense, was the summation of his 
life's work. He seems to have felt that the clouds 
which had gathered about so much of his early life 
were now dispersing and that he might hope, if 
not for justification, at any rate for peace. 287 And 
it is difficult not to feel that the service he rendered 
to his Church upon this occasion was closely 
connected with the bestowal of that honour which 
was his official vindication. But in the hearts of 
Englishmen it was a vindication he did not need. 
Newman was quick to see that the central 
problem was the relations of sovereignty to alle- 

286 Cf. his phrase p. 11, 'Dr. Newman is like the sun in the intellectual 
hemisphere of Anglo -Eoman ism ' and note the different way in which 
throughout he deals with the criticism of Newman compared with other 
replies. 

287 Cf . the beautiful letter to Blachf ord. Life, II, 408. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 203 

glance on the one hand, and to conscience on the 
other. The Pope was sovereign and infallible, 
said Mr. Gladstone; therefore no British subject 
can be at once loyal to the Crown and a Catholic. 
But Newman at once points out that there are 
degrees of obedience and that they determine the 
nature of sovereignty. Mr. Gladstone, as he said, 
objected to the 'supreme direction' exercised by 
the Pope over Catholics. 288 But Newman urges 
that the State, through the law, makes a precisely 
similar claim. 'The State,' he said, 289 'as well as 
the Church, has the power at its will of imposing 
laws upon us, laws bearing on our moral duties, 
our daily conduct, affecting our actions in various 
ways, and circumscribing our liberties ; yet no one 
would say that the Law, after all, with all its power 
in the abstract, and its executive vigour in fact, 
interferes either with our comfort or our con- 
science.' But the papal activity is less than this. 
'At first sight,' Newman says, 290 'I have not known 
where to look for instances of his actual interpo- 
sition in our private affairs. ' The fact is that, of 
necessity, whatever be the claims of the Papacy, 
it can in practice do no more than lay down 
perfectly general laws and trust to the good sense 
of Catholics for their wise application to the facts 
of any particular case. 291 And he goes on to show 
how Catholic loyalty to the Pope must receive 

288 Letter to Duke of Norfolk, p. 52. 

289 ibid., p. 53. 

290 Ibid., p. 54. 

291 Ibid., p. 57. 



204 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

limitation in the event. l Suppose England/ lie 
wrote, 292 'were to send her ironclads to support 
Italy against the Pope and his allies, English 
Catholics would be very indignant, they would 
take part with the Pope before the war began, they 
would use all constitutional means to hinder it; 
but who believes that when they were once in the 
war, their action would be anything else than 
prayers and exertions for a termination T In so 
difficult a case, in fact, Catholics would do no more 
than play the perfectly constitutional part of an 
opposition in Parliament, as did John Bright 
during the Crimean war. But what, Newman 
asks, would Catholics do if a direct command from 
the Pope came actively to oppose their country? 
If, for example, Parliament forced Catholics to 
attend Protestant service weekly, and the Pope 
told Catholics to disobey the law, he would obey 
the Pope. To Mr. Gladstone's argument that such 
a case is impossible he replies by admitting it, and, 
almost in Mr. Harrison's words he points out the 
obvious circumscription to which an absolute 
obedience is subject. 293 He would not obey the 
Pope if, as a Privy Councillor, he was ordered to 
give acknowledgement to a Prince of Wales who 
became a Roman Catholic. He would not obey the 
Pope if, when a soldier or sailor, the Pope ordered 
all Catholics to retire from the services. In 
extreme cases, in brief, that is 'when his conscience 

292 Hid., p. 64. 

283 Hid., p. 66. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 205 

could not be reconciled to any of the courses of 
action proposed to him by others,' he will follow 
the dictates of his conscience as men like Turre- 
cremata and Bellarmine have alike argued he must 
do. 294 For such a demand of absolute obedience 
* would be transgressing the laws of human nature 
and human society' since 'there is no rule in this 
world without exceptions.' 295 He is careful to 
point out that this is not the doctrine of private 
judgment as held by Protestants; for while with 
the latter private judgment is the arbiter of 
common events, with him it is decisive only 'in very 
extraordinary and rare, nay, impossible cases.' 
The term 'conscience' must not be misunderstood. 
'Conscience is not a longsighted selfishness, nor a 
desire to be consistent with oneself, but it is a 
messenger from Him who, in nature and in grace, 
speaks to us behind a veil and teaches and rules 
us by his representatives.' 296 Such a freedom of 
conscience no Pope dare deny; did he do so 'it 
would be a suicidal act. He would be cutting the 
ground from under his feet ... on the law of 
conscience and its sacredness are founded both his 
authority in theory and power in fact.' 297 If he 
trampled on the consciences of men thus conceived 
he would meet his due reward. And conscience 
thus conceived is the real abiter of conduct. Nor 
can it collide with infallibility. For the one, he 

29* Ibid., p. 68. 

295 Ibid., p. 69. 

296 ibid., p. 73. 

297 ibid., p. 77. 



206 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

says, quoting St. Thomas, is engaged only with 
immediate things while infallibility deals with 
general propositions. 298 And he is careful to point 
out that the Pope 'is not infallible in his laws, nor 
in his commands, nor in his acts of state, nor in his 
administration, nor in his public policy.' 299 He is 
infallible only when he speaks ex cathedra in the 
name of the Church ; and it is a difficult theological 
problem to decide when he does so speak. Newman 
feels certain that the essence of Catholic doctrine 
is the duty of obeying conscience ' at all hazards. ' 8( 
'If I am obliged,' runs his striking conclusion, 801 
Ho bring religion into after-dinner toasts (which 
indeed does not seem quite the thing), I shall 
drink to the Pope if you please still to Con- 
science first, and to the Pope afterwards. ' 

The argument seems complete. Man should do 
that which he deems morally right, and the only 
obedience he can render is the obedience consonant 
with his ethical standards. Clearly in such a view 
the sovereign of Austin, the superior who always 
receives submission to his views, is an unthinkable 
thing. He is unthinkable because so long as men 
live they will vary in opinion on fundamental 
questions, and varying will follow their individual 
bent. Whether so minimising an interpretation 
represents with any accuracy the policy of Rome 

298 Ibid., p. 80. 

299 Ibid., p. 81. 

300 Ibid., p. 83, and see the interesting citations he gives on this point. 

301 Ibid., p. 86. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 207 

is another and very different question. 302 Certainly 
one may doubt whether it would have met with 
the approval of il diavolo del' Concilia, Manning. 
For it deprives the Pope of his sovereignty at 
exactly the point where it is most needed the 
crucial instance where it might be put to the test 
of the event. It is a theory of liberty since it 
bases power and obedience on the consent of men. 
In such a view, for instance, Newman has not the 
right to doubt the morality of Bellinger's seces- 
sion ; for the highest motives as was universally 
admitted actuated the great historian in the 
course he took. Certain words of Mr. Gladstone, 
when he closed this momentous debate, contain a 
truth of profound importance. 'It may be true,' 
he said, 303 'that the men of good systems are worse 
than their principles, and the men of bad systems 
better than their principles.' Theories which 
depend for their translation into terms of the 
event upon an irrevocable certainty in human 
nature are psychologically fallacious. Men, for the 
most part, have an unknown factor in their every 
political equation. Dogma may dream that it has 
extinguished right at law, and it yet will be found 
to suffer defeat. Divine right does not prevent the 
execution of kings. So long as our theories have 
to validate themselves in practice we may perhaps 
fear little the remorselessness of their logic. For 
human nature has evolved its separate guarantees. 

302 Newman claimed for it the sanction of Bishop Feesler the 
Secretary-General of the Council. Jfeid., p. 105. 

303 Vaticanism (New York, Harpers, 1875), p. 85. 



208 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 



The problem of Church and State is in reality, 
as Mr. Figgis has so ably argued, 804 but part of the 
larger problem of the nature of civil society. To 
distrust the old theory of sovereignty is to strive 
towards a greater freedom. We have been perhaps 
too frankly worshippers of the State. Before it 
we have prostrated ourselves in speechless admira- 
tion, deeming its nature matter, for the most part, 
beyond our concern. The result has been the 
implicit acceptance of a certain grim Hegelianism 
which has swept us unprotestingly on into the 
vortex of a great All which is more than ourselves. 
Its goodness we might not deny. We live, so we 
are told, but for its sake and in its life and are 
otherwise non-existent. So the State has become 
a kind of modern Baal to which the citizen must 
bow a heedless knee. It has not been seen, or 
perhaps has been too truly seen, that the death 
of argument lies in genuflexion. 805 

It is an inadequate attitude thus to perpetrate 
a meaningless uniformity of outlook. Societies are 
persons as men are persons. They have the word 
matters but little their ethos, character, nature, 
identity. They are born to live within the pale of 
human fellowship. They may be wrong, as men 

so* In his Churches in the Modern State. 

80s I should like to refer to Mr. Barker 's brilliant paper on the 
'Discredited State' in the Political Quarterly for May, 1915, for a very 
full expression of this attitude. I think, however, that he unduly 
narrows the meaning of personality. 



THEORY OF CATHOLIC REVIVAL 209 

and women are wrong, and the rules of human 
conduct which the processes of evolution have 
developed for the individual must be applied to 
them also. It is no answer to assert the theoretical 
infallibility of the State to us who possess the 
record of history. To acquiesce in its sin, to judge 
of it by criteria other than those of individual 
action, is to place authority before truth. The 
sovereignty of the State will pass, as the divine 
right of kings has had its day. It has been no 
more than a sword forged in one of the mightiest 
of political conflicts. It has been a victorious 
sword but it must be replaced by newer weapons. 
No dogma can hope for immortality since we live 
in an age of readjustment and of reconstruction. 
There is an etching of Brangwyn's in which the 
artist has depicted the break-up of a discarded 
vessel. It lies on its side, dominating the picture. 
It overawes by its impressiveness, by its suggestion 
of a mighty past. One sees it as a stage in the 
evolution of sea-craft, a vessel which, in its day, 
was a very giant of human invention. Then it 
enabled those who piloted it through unknown and 
uncharted seas to do voyage of service and dis- 
covery. But it is at length cast aside. Vessels 
built on principles more consonant with modern 
knowledge take its place. So, with its past 
splendour borne clearly in mind, it is held to have 
served its purpose. What it has been, what it has 
accomplished, is remembered by those who plan 
the evolution of that science of which it is part; 



210 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

whatever there is in it of good, goes to the making 
of its successor. So should it be with the dogmas 
of political thought. At a time when the organisa- 
tion of the State was the essential need, the dogma 
of its moral sovereignty was of the highest value. 
But newer knowledge has come, and with it the 
need of change. And it is sheer tragedy that men 
should be unwilling to realise that the majesty of 
the State is in nowise diminished by a frank 
recognition of its imperfections. The State, like 
man, ceases to be human when it is exalted into 
Godhead. We dare not so exalt it lest we be 
imprisoned by the errors of the past. For it is 
ours to hand down undimmed the torch of conscious 
life. 



CHAPTER V 
DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 1 



THE Catholic Revival and the growth of nation- 
alism are perhaps the two most fundamental 
facts in the history of the nineteenth century. 
Round them may very largely be grouped the 
ideals from which its ultimate canon may be 
evolved. They are largely antithetic movements; 
for the series of facts which each sought to control 
were for the most part identical. It is thus 
perhaps superficially difficult to discover grounds 
of intimate resemblance between the greatest of 
those who gave to the Roman Catholic system the 
chief rationale of its renascence, and the supreme 
master of nationalist statesmanship. The nine- 
teenth century, after all, is essentially an anti- 
theological age. It is the age which contributed 
most to the dissolution of ecclesiastic structure, the 
age in which Cavour destroyed the political foun- 
dations of the Church, in which Darwin cast 

i It is perhaps unnecessary to express the obligation this paper owes 
to the essay by Lord Morley in the first volume of his Miscellanies, to 
that of Sainte-Beuve in his Portraits litteraires, Vol. II, and above all 
to the masterly analysis of Faguet in his Politiques et Moralistes. See 
also the brilliant little study by M. Georges Cogordan. 



212 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

the corrosive sublimate of demonstrated evolution 
upon the basis of dogmas which had boasted of 
their eternal nature. De Maistre, it is clear enough, 
stands for that old medieval theocracy which the 
Revolution had made finally impossible. The 
frank opponent of Bacon, the contemptuous critic 
of Locke, the unmitigated hater of Voltaire, he 
seems essentially unaffiliated to the modern world. 
He is like one of those curious instances of atavism 
for which the science of heredity is so signally 
unable to account. It seems at first sight illogical 
to connect his thought with that of Bismarck who, 
in creating the German empire, was perhaps 
instrumental more than any other statesman of his 
time in rendering impossible the fulfilment of the 
dream of which De Maistre was the chief expo- 
nent. Bismarck was, with Cavour, the most 
national of nineteenth century statesmen, and it 
was of nationalism that the Ultramontane theory 
has been the uncompromising antagonist. He was 
the foe of the Roman Church. For more than a 
decade he pursued it with a hostility that was at 
once bitter and unrelenting. His outlook seems 
antithetic to that of De Maistre. Yet the differ- 
ences are more apparent than real; and exami- 
nation suggests that in the search for an adequate 
perspective they are unimportant. Each aimed, 
fundamentally, at the same goal; and it was only 
the formal structure in which their ideas found 
realisation that marks a distinction in the basis oi 
their thought. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 213 

II 

There is no problem as to the origin of De 
Maistre's fundamental ideas. He was born to hate 
the Kevolution and in his examination of its 
character he found no signs of good. Every 
institution he cherished it had overthrown. Every 
dogma he accepted it had cast away. It had 
tyrannised over the Church, it had mocked religion, 
it had executed the king. * France was dishonoured 
by more than a hundred thousand murders and 
the soil of that noble kingdom was strewn with 
scaffolds. ' 2 The foundations of political authority 
were overthrown and with them the structure 
of ecclesiasticism seemed to perish. It was 
De Maistre's task to suggest the basis of their 
reconstruction. 

The character of his response was in a large 
degree determined by his early life. The member 
of a distinguished family, he was, as M. Faguet 
has well pointed out, 3 essentially a patrician by 
nature. His early career had fastened on him the 
disposition of the bureaucrat who loves order and 
to whom chaos is the first of sins. He had, even 
from childhood, a high regard for authority; and 
even when at the University, he read no book 
without the permission of his father. Nor can the 
fact that the Jesuits of Chambery played their 

2 Considerations sur la France, p. 13. I use an edition published in 
1910 by Eoger and Chernoviz of Paris, 
s Politiques et Moralistes, p. 5. 



214 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

part in the determination of his career have been 
without its influence; and we know that to his 
mother the suppression of that order in France 
was a serious blow to religion. 4 To an intelligence 
so trained a shock more deep than that which the 
ideas of the Revolution must have suggested it is 
impossible to imagine. The blow came, moreover, 
when he was nearly forty years of age, 6 at a time 
when the main lines of intellectual development 
have been finally determined. 

He desired a reconstruction of society and it 
was such a method as his education had famil- 
iarised him with that he applied to his work. In 
no sense of the word a psychologist, it was a logical 
analysis of the problem that he made. He found 
a new dogma the sovereignty of the people 
popularised by the Revolution. No item in the 
term was defined, no implications had been studied. 
The magic of a phrase had enthralled the intel- 
ligence of men. There was easy talk of the rights 
of men, and, once more, no shadow of precision in 
the talk. 6 Society, he pointed out, was not born, 
as Rousseau devoutly urged, from deliberation; 
for that term itself implies the organisation which 
is society. Nor can we predicate a society before 
we have a sovereign, in order that we may refer 
authority to a popular origin. The very idea of 
human intercourse implies, to his mind, the idea 

* Sainte-Beuve, Portraits litteraires, Vol. II (ed. of 1862), p. 389. 
s He was born in 1753. 

See the biting attack on Eousseau in the Melanges, pp. 188-192. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 215 

of sovereignty; 'for the term "people" suggests an 
organisation built round a common centre, and 
without sovereignty there can be neither union nor 
political unity.' 7 He is equally opposed to the 
suggestion that man is in any sense an independent 
being. He admits that the thought is an easy one, 
but it is founded upon a mistaken interpretation 
of freedom. 8 We have to accustom ourselves to 
grasp firmly the idea of a divine will as the 
foundation of human society, and only in so far 
as man acts in harmony with that will is he capable 
of constructive achievement. 9 

It is easy to see the direction in which his 
thought is moving. To conceive of man as an 
isolation is to build a State upon the basis of his 
separatism. 10 But that is to neglect the fact that 
the State is essentially an unity, over and above its 
constituent parts. The attempt to base it upon 
separatism results in an undue stress of the indi- 
vidual on the one hand, and of reason on the other. 
Reason is useless in the preservation of a political 
society, 11 and the essence of patriotism is that 
abnegation of the individual which a separatist 
theory denies. 12 That corporate soul which is the 
centre of national power can never be constructed 
from thought. 'If every man thinks out for 

7 Melanges, p. 192. 

s Principe Generateur, No. X. Cf. No. XLV. 

9 Melanges, p. 192. 

1 Cf . the valuable remarks of M. Faguet, op. tit., p. 10. 

11 Melanges, p. 247. 

12 Ibid., p. 249. 



216 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

himself the principles of government,' he says, 
' civil anarchy and the destruction of political 
sovereignty must quickly follow.' So that the 
consequence is clear. If reason is insufficient, we 
must have faith; if argument is inadequate we 
must have authority. And since what man alone 
achieves is not destined to endure, he has need of 
the work of God. As in the Hebraic and Moham- 
medan systems, the wise legislator will make his 
political theory a religion also ; so will the fidelity 
of his citizens become a faith and their obedience 
be exalted into a fanatic enthusiasm. 13 Religion 
to him is the keystone of the arch of social 
structure, and the deeper the study of history the 
more certain becomes the realisation of how indis- 
pensable is its alliance. 14 That was, as Cicero 
realised, 15 the secret of Roman success. The states- 
man dare not neglect it since, crime apart, the best 
means are the most successful. 16 

We have abandoned reason and the individual 
and their main weapon must follow. If it is 
necessary to introduce a certain mysticism into the 
texture of the State, it must be preserved in all 
its dignity. So he urges that a written constitution 
is an error. The danger of its accessibility apart, 
it contains the stupid error of supposing that the 
makers of laws are men, that laws are documents, 
that a nation can be constituted with a pen and 



td., p. 230. 
i* Ibid., p. 236. 
is J)e naturd deorum, II, 4. 
i Lettres sur I 'Inquisition, I. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 217 

paper. History gives evidence to the contrary. 
The more feeble the institution the more does it 
tend to take a written form. 17 Men do not respect 
that which they see created. A real constitution 
man can not create ; for his function in nature is 
only to transform. 'Man,' he urges, 18 'can not give 
laws to himself. He can do no more than defend 
what is dispensed to him by a higher power. These 
rights are beneficent customs which are beneficent 
because they are unwritten and because we know 
neither their beginning nor their author. ' And the 
declaration of custom should be avoided since not 
only is it either the effect or the cause of great evil, 
but it also is invariably more costly than it is 
worth. 19 

So that it is to authority we are driven back and 
of its worth he has no doubt. He has emphasised 
the value of patriotism of which the essence is an 
undeliberating and heedless devotion, a sacrifice of 
oneself to the corporate good. Under what form 
of State may it be best attained? Of democracy 
he takes but little account ; it is to be defined as an 
association of men without sovereignty, that is to 
say, without control over themselves. 20 It lacks 
the essential conditions of stability and of justice. 
It gives too great a handle to selfishness, it has not 
the distinction of ranks which is the foundation of 

" Principe Generateur, Nos. 19, 20, 21. 

is Melanges, p. 244. 

is Principe Generateur, No. 28. 

20 Melanges, pp. 246, 347. 



218 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

power. 21 Aristocracy he conceives to have more 
merit though he allows it vigour only in proportion 
as it approximates in character to a monarchy. 22 
For it is in monarchy that he places all his confi- 
dence. It is the natural form of government. It 
permits that concentration of sovereignty which 
allows the manifestation of its real virtues. Even 
if it has its dangers, nevertheless history gives to it 
a splendid justification and history is experimental 
politics. 23 It is in a monarchy that the vices of 
sovereignty are least apparent. 24 It permits, above 
all, of unity an inestimable virtue in his eyes; 
since in the rule of many the subjects of the 
crown delight in its dissection and thus deprive 
it of its majesty. 25 But kingship gives to sover- 
eignty a character of intensity which increases its 
value. 'The name of king,' he writes, 26 'is a talis- 
man, a magic power, which gives to every force 
and intent a central direction. ' It is the personal- 
isation of that authority which is the pivot of De 
Maistre's political system. 

No one can doubt the reasons for his attitude. 
'Ainsi done, Madame/ he wrote to a Russian lady, 27 
'plus de pape, plus de souverainete; plus de 
souverainete, plus de unite; plus d 'unite, plus 

21 Hid., p. 359. 

22 Ibid., pp. 332 seq. 

23 Ibid., pp. 201 seq. 

24 Ibid., p. 309. 

25 Ibid., p. 313. 

26 Ibid., p. 323. 

27 Oeuvres Choisies de Joseph de Maistre, Vol. IV, p. 179. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 219 

d'authorite; plus d'authorite, plus de foi. J It is 
the bitter protest of the medievalist against the 
Revolution. Doubt is sin, and to prevent its birth 
we must form a political system in which it shall 
have no place. The antithesis of doubt is faith 
and faith must be imposed. It must come from 
without, and authority is therefore its inevitable 
accompaniment while sovereignty is no more than 
its full expression in political terms. It is, too, 
clear why he desired unity so deeply. Where men 
begin to differ change must result; and change is 
the child of that discussion which can be born only 
of scepticism. We recognise the medievalism of 
an attitude which is clearly identifying heresy 
with rebellion and finding therein political reason 
for its suppression. So long as there is unity there 
is peace which is the sole guarantee of survival. 
De Maistre can not doubt that the guarantee of a 
continuance of political life is the erection of a 
system impermeable to the currents of change. 
Man's truest ideas are the primeval feelings of 
his heart, and he could see no adequate ground 
for their discussion. Herein is the result of his 
experiences of the eighteenth century ; for to deny 
the value of reason and of argument is to deny the 
fundamental purpose for which it conceived itself 
to exist. 28 He opposes the splendour of a stable 
civilisation to the bewildering variety for which the 
age in which he lived stood sponsor. For in that 
variety is involved a denial of the sovereignty of 

28 Cf . Faguet, op. tit., p. 15. 



220 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

the State, the division of its powers, the erection 
of antithetic systems of rights; and from them is 
born revolution. 29 If you suggest that from revo- 
lution good may accrue, he will point out that 
between the conduct of France and the qualities 
of which virtue is composed there is a direct 
antithesis. l Cette plaie, ' he wrote angrily, 30 ' est du 
vol . . . cette habitude du vol, cette scandale 
donne et regu mutuellement tous les jours, et tout 
le jour sur toute la surface de la France, ont 
produit a la fin uri etat de chose dont on ne se 
forme ancune idee juste si on ne 1' a vu de pres . . . 
II y a une antipathic naturalle et invincible entre 
la Republique Frangaise et toutes les vertus. ' 

We need, then, a formula against revolution and 
it is in the sovereignty of authority that we find it. 
One tremendous consequence must result imme- 
diately from such a conclusion: our theologico- 
political system can not be Protestant in character. 
De Maistre was too bold a thinker not to admit the 
logical deduction from his premises and he was 
unsparing in his criticisms of Protestantism. It 
is a word that must be effaced from the language 
of Europe if religion is to be re-established and the 
foundations of political authority strengthened. 81 
In its various forms, as Calvinism, more insid- 
iously as Jansenism, 32 it has declared war on 

29 Fragments, p. 34. 
so Ibid., p. 57. 
si D Pape, Conclusion (ed. of 1910), p. 354. 

32 The reader will wish to consult Sainte-Beuve '& reply to De Maistre 'a 
attack, Porte-Boyal, Vol. Ill (ed. of 1888), p. 233 seq. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 221 

every sort of authority. It is protestant against 
sovereignty for its only dogma is to have no 
dogmas. 33 The French Revolution is the inevitable 
and disastrous consequence of its principles ; it has 
almost annihilated Christianity in Europe. 34 For 
it is a philosophy of scepticism. 'C'est 1* insur- 
rection de la raison individuelle, ' he wrote, 35 ' contre 
la raison generale, et par consequent c'est tout ce 
qu'on peut imaginer de plus mauvais. C'est 
I'ennemi essentiel de tout croyance commune a 
plusieurs homines: ce que constitue ennemi du 
genre humain.' By nature it is rebellious, for 
doubt is its foundation and doubt is the mother of 
rebellion. History gives proof of this statement. 
With the Reformation came the religious division 
of Christianity and the political division of 
Europe. 36 Its force even then was not expended. 
To test the doctrines of Luther it cast Germany 
into the horrors of the Thirty Years' War. The 
execution of Charles I is traceable directly to its 
influence. If it urges the inhumanity of Saint 
Bartholomew the necessity of that massacre is the 
proof of its inherent danger. 37 It is in fact anti- 
sovereign, and therefore anti-authoritarian by 
nature. It is the very mainspring of inquietude. 
For sovereignty in its essence is indivisible, and 
Protestantism makes of each man his own sover- 

ss IVme lettre sur I' education publique en Bussie. 
34 Vide his Sur I 'fitat du Christianisme en Europe. 
ss Melanges, p. 510. 
s Ibid., p. 513. 
37 Ibid., p. 516. 



222 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

eign. 88 It places faith in the category of sin, and 
examines dogma only to reject it. For in that 
desire for investigation lies the yearning for 
novelty, and the distrust of existing things, as is 
instanced in the manner in which one whom De 
Maistre signalises as perhaps the most odious of 
the Revolutionists, Condorcet, was the eager friend 
of reform. 39 It is the sans-culottisme of religion. 
It is inferior as a political system even to pagan- 
ism or to the theories of Mahomet which realised 
the necessity of dogma and faith. 40 It has taken 
the security of the State to cast it heedlessly 
among the multitude. 

The criticism has at any rate the merit of certi- 
tude and it is also the logical result of his beliefs. 
For when he had based his monarchy on miracle, 
De Maistre had in fact placed it beyond the reach 
of argument, and his salvation must find itself 
in a political theory in which reason was but a 
secondary consideration. The necessities of his 
outlook are clear. He has his organic state, of 
which the nature and origins are alike enwrapped 
in mystery. He has asserted the need of corporate 
government which can not, in its turn, exist without 
sovereignty. For there is no adequate rule that 
is not absolute. If it is said that absolutism is 
bound to issue in injustice, he will retort that 
injustice is at the basis of life. It is upon sacrifice 

38/6id., p. 227. 
39 Ibid., p. 542. 
*o Ibid., p. 547. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 223 

that existence is founded, and if the innocent die 
they will at any rate have the satisfaction of 
remembering that the executioner is the corner- 
stone of society. If it be retorted that this is 
irrational, he will then answer that he is thereby 
the more certain of its truth. So to him even 
Christ can be no more than 'une victime sanglante,' 
and M. Faguet has acutely suggested that his 
Christianity was basically pagan ; for it lacks the 
very idea of love of which the Gospel is the written 
expression. 41 This, clearly, is the cause of his 
profound hatred of the Greek spirit. For he 
found there the same lack of vigour, of hardness 
of certitude, the same anxiety to examine and to 
doubt, which is the root of the egoism of the 
Protestant." Nothing is more characteristic of 
his temper than the singular but striking judgment 
of Plato that as a Greek he is wearying to a degree ; 
'il n' est grand, sublime, penetrant que lorsqu' il 
est theologien; c'est a dire lorsqu' il enonce des 
dogmes positifs et eternels separes de toute 
chicane.' 45 The Greek mind was for him too 
pliable, too yielding, too curious to command either 
his affection or his admiration. What he sought 
for were the premises of life, and, once given, as 
he could not doubt they were given to the world 
in the Christian philosophy, the sole problem was 
to give them an unchangeable political expression. 

4i Faguet, op. cit., p. 59. 

Z)u Pape, Bk. IV, Caps. VII-XI. 

Du Pape (ed. of 1910), p. 331. 



224 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

The discussion of Christianity itself became thus 
unimportant. For, once given, it was outside the 
realm of argument. It was in this way that De 
Maistre became above all a political theorist. He 
could subordinate philosophy and theology to his 
theory of the State simply because they required 
no more than the statement to merit acceptance. 
That is why, as M. Paguet has pointed out, his 
earliest work is a political treatise ; for at the very 
outset of his career his other views were indelibly 
fixed, were, indeed, the foundation of his political 
thought. 44 



Ill 

With the rejection of Protestantism he is thrown 
back on the Catholic theory, and to this he gave an 
uncompromising and unquestioning acceptance. 
The book was in the nature of a personal apologia ; 
for in the stress of the Napoleonic conflict he had 
spoken disrespectfully of the Holy Father, and 
Du Pape was written as a method of reparation. 45 
Certainly the Papacy has good reason to give 
thanks to the ability of its enthusiastic champion ; 
for with the possible exception of Augustinus 
Triumphus no one has given such entire allegiance 
to the gravest extremism of Hildebrand and of 
Innocent III., and De Maistre is superior to his 

<* Faguet, op. cit., p. 5. 

IB Brandes, Main Currents of XlXth Century Literature, Vol. Ill, 
p. 105. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 225 

predecessor in that he has the important merit of 
being readable. 

It is not difficult to understand the cause of De 
Maistre's papalism. Semper eadem might have 
been the motto of his thought, as it was the 
Catholic challenge to a revolutionary age. The 
Papacy had endured unchanged for eighteen hun- 
dred years. It was almost the parent of dogma. 
Its very life depended on the imposition of its 
authority. It was the guardian of a mystery into 
which faith alone could penetrate. Its sanction 
was divine; it spurned the power of human 
thought ; it was the proud claimant of infallibility. 
What institution could be more fitted to rule the 
world? 

It claimed infallibility. That was to mark it as 
a sovereign power, since infallibility is only the 
spiritual synonym of sovereignty. 46 That it should 
claim infallibility did not mean that it asked the 
possession of any special privilege, but only that 
the Church was a monarchy and demanded the 
natural attributes of its character. 47 It meant that 
error could not be charged against it, that its 
decisions must be accepted without question. If 
it be suggested that its infallibility is impossible, 
since Popes have erred, the reply is simply that 
infallible it must be since without it unity becomes 
impossible. 48 Nor is it worth while to raise the 

46 Du Pope, Bk. I, Chap. I (ed. of 1910), p. 44. 

47 Ibid., p. 45. 

48 Ibid., p. 47. 



226 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

objection, since the Catholic Church does not enter 
into argument. 'Elle croit,' he says almost with 
affection, 49 'elle croit sans disputer; car la foi est 
une croyance par amour, et 1 'amour n' argumente 
point.' It has the even greater merit of finding 
at once its visible unity in the Pope. De Maistre 
makes short work of conciliar claims. Their 
inf requency, the manner in which they have them- 
selves acclaimed the papal supremacy, the analogy 
with the relation of States-General to King, the 
witness of Gallican Church and Jansenist schis- 
matics, of Protestant theologians like Calvin and 
heretic jurists like Pufendorf, are all dragged, 
some little matters of history notwithstanding, 
into the service of this supremacy. 60 Rome, he says 
with Calvin, is the centre of the world, umbilicus 
terrae. 51 

He is not afraid of despotism ; for the Pope will 
be governed by the laws of his being, which are 
divine in character. And in any case he alone is 
the judge of those laws and must be obeyed without 
conditions unless anarchy is to result. The descent 
from absolute sovereignty to utter confusion is 
single and precipitous. Infallibility has been 
established in order that it may be avoided. 52 If 
it be said that Popes have meddled too intimately 
with the lives of men, he will reply that it has never 

4 Ibid., p. 49. 

BO md., Bk. I, Chaps. II-IX. 

si Ibid., p. 79. 

62/fctd., p . 123 (Bk. I, Chap. XVI). 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 227 

been without justification, and to Catholics who 
cherish such a thought he gives the warning that 
it implies a human judgment upon a divine insti- 
tution. 53 Everything, in short, that can be known 
of the papal structure justifies the conclusion that 
it fulfils all the necessary conditions of social 
permanence. 'II ne peut avoir de societe humaine 
sans gouvernement,' he said in tremendous words," 
'ni de gouvernement sans souverainete, ni de sou- 
verainete sans inf aillibilite, et ce dernier privilege 
est si absolument necessaire, qu' on est force de 
supposer 1'inf aillibilite, memes dans les souver- 
ainetes temporelles (ou elle n'est pas) sans peine 
de voir 1'association se dissoudre.' Law, then, is 
simple enough. It is what the sovereign commands, 
and that sovereign must be unique that he may 
escape destruction. 

There is a tinge of fatalism in so terrible a logic, 
but De Maistre is ready with explanations of its 
necessity. Man, he holds, is a curious mingling of 
good and evil, and has need of government that he 
may be social. The law courts we must remember 
that De Maistre was for long a judge make us 
understand why that government must be absolute. 
Where there is no sentence given dispute imme- 
diately arises; and sovereignty arising to prevent 
the disaster which would result therefrom. Man 
desires to be just, and sovereignty provides the 

td., p. 129 (Bk. I, Chap. XVIII). 
id., p. 132 (Bk. I, Chap. XIX). 



228 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

means for the attainment of that end. 55 It is true, 
of course, that dangers can result from its exercise ; 
but they are less than the dangers which would 
result from its absence. And those who urge that 
the difficulty may be avoided by the erection of 
constitutions and of fundamental laws forget that 
the individual or the institution which carries them 
into effect will be in fact sovereign ; so that in our 
effort to avoid it we attain it. 5 * It is useless to 
object, for instance, that the difficulty has been 
evaded in the limited monarchy of England; for, 
as he urges, what has been limited in England is 
royalty while the king in Parliament still remains 
supreme. 57 It can do all it desires, and there is no 
legal limitation upon its will. He does not deny 
that kings may act wrongly; but in that event they 
will be subject to the indirect power of the Pope, 
who, as the direct representative of God, can 
release their subjects from their oath of fidelity. 
It is in this case only that there exists a right of 
resistance in the subject. Or, rather, it is not a 
right of resistance so much as a duty, since it is a 
command laid upon them by the most supreme of 
powers. 58 Nor have the Popes ever misused their 
power. If they have fought with sovereigns, with 
abstract sovereignty itself they have never con- 

*sibid., p. 138-139 (Bk. II, Chap. I). 
6 Ibid., p. 140 (Bk. II, Chap. II). 

67 Ibid., p. 145 (Bk. II, Chap. III). 

68 Ibid., p. 148 (Bk. II, Chap. IV). 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 229 

tended. They have enforced the divine law of 
which they are the chosen delegates, and its very 
exercise has exalted the peoples of the earth. 59 
They have defended the sanctity of marriage; 60 
they have maintained the laws of the Church and 
the customs of the priestly caste; 61 they have 
upheld De Maistre speaks in all seriousness the 
liberty of Italy ; 62 it is an enviable record. 

The power thus theoretically conceived is justi- 
fied in its practical results. It is untrue to urge, 
as is customary with the opponents of the Papacy, 
that it has plunged Europe into strife and fanati- 
cism. The Popes are charged with the execution 
of a supreme power that of excommunication 
and they have used that power for public welfare. 
Where its use has resulted in tumult, it is due 
to the resistance they have encountered. 63 The 
medieval exercise of their right saved Europe 
from the catastrophes of barbarism. They can do 
so again, after the latest of barbarian irruptions, 
if men would but realise their power instead of 
remaining blinded by appearances. The good the 
Popes have conferred upon men is manifest in 
work such as missionary enterprise which is the 
harbinger of civilisation. 64 It is seen in their 

59 Ibid., p. 149 (Bk. II, Chap. V). 

BO Ibid., p. 166 (Bk. II, Chap. VII). 

ei Ibid., p. 173. 

2 Ibid., p. 180. 

3 Ibid., Bk. II, Chap. IX. 

e* Ibid., Bk. m, Chap. I. 



230 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

struggle for civil liberty, 65 in the admirable results 
that have followed on the institution of clerical 
celibacy 66 a good which Protestantism has sought 
to destroy in their almost miraculous preser- 
vation of monarchy at a time when the decay of 
the Roman empire, and the barbarian invasions 
from the North seemed destined to achieve its 
destruction. 67 In its new infancy it was cherished 
and strengthened by the papal arm. 68 Where 
kings have been obedient to the Pope their reigns 
have been long and prosperous clearly a sign of 
virtue. 89 Without the Pope, in short, a true 
Christianity would have been impossible. 'Des 
Papes,' he writes, 70 'furent les instituteurs, les 
sauveteurs, et les veritables genies constituantes 
de 1'Europe.' It thus becomes impossible to judge 
of kings save in their papal context, and its 
achievements are the solid demonstration that the 
papal monarchy is the best because the most 
permanent and the most natural. 

To such a view his theory of schism is the logical 
conclusion. A schismatic church is a Protestant 
Church, for it is destroying the essential unity of 
civilisation. 71 The heretic churches are so many 

so Ibid., Bk. Ill, Chap. II. 
6 Ibid., Bk. Ill, Chap. III. 
7 Ibid., Bk. Ill, Chap. IV. 

68 Ibid., p. 287. 

69 ibid., Bk. Ill, Chap. V. 
TO Ibid., p. 303. 

" Ibid., Bk. IV, Chap. I. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 231 

evidences of division and thus so many proofs of 
danger. They have no common name, their char- 
acter is mutually alien, they attack each others ' 
dogma, they have no means of final decision 
between their errors. 72 To sympathise with their 
variety is to invite the onset of a cataclysm. 

What, then, is the conclusion to which his specu- 
lations lead ? The faulty systems of the eighteenth 
century must be cast aside ; they have deprived the 
half of Europe of its Christianity. 73 The institu- 
tion which alone has lasted for eighteen centuries 
can serve as the natural centre of a new political 
system which will be the old. It is necessary for 
the preservation of Christianity that Rome should 
undertake that leadership. She only has the power 
and the majesty. She only emerges unharmed 
from the ruthless attacks to which she is subjected. 
She only can guarantee unity and faith. Divine 
in her origin, she has been splendid in her past and 
is destined to a more glorious future. God has 
watched over her with a special love, and thus 
fitted her to be the protector of nations. She holds 
in her hands the future happiness of men. If she 
has to face doubt and vice and rebellion, yet is she 
destined to triumph. ' Hydra-headed error will be 
vanquished before indivisible Truth: God will 
reign in the Temple as He reigns in heaven, in 
the blessed communion of his Saints.' 74 

72 Ibid., p. 321 fit. 

73 Ibid., p. 347. 
7* Ibid., p. 365. 



232 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

IV 

Laxnartine has somewhere remarked that De 
Maistre's political thought is at the service of his 
religious instincts and this must be the main and 
abiding impression of any one who analyses his 
work. His was that fanatic devotion to a cause 
which examines all dogmas save his own. His own 
faith he did not examine, for he had placed it 
outside the realm of discussion; and to have 
admitted that it was capable of analysis would 
have been for him the admission that it might be 
annihilated. It is an admirable position; and it 
would demand the highest reverence did it possess 
the single merit of truth. For it was here that the 
immense fallacy lay in De Maistre's argument. 
He had already determined his conclusions before 
he began his enquiry. In the result, he became not 
the judge but the advocate who uses history as the 
great storehouse of political examples from which 
instances such as he desired might be culled. Nor 
was he in the least careful as to the accuracy of his 
interpretations. 75 He had that peculiar faculty of 
the eighteenth-century mind for seeing only what 
he believed on a priori grounds. 76 He would not 
admit that he might be wrong, for that would be 
to give tolerance the name of virtue. So it is that 
to the modern sense there is something of almost 

75 His treatment of the Spanish Inquisition is a good example of this 
trait. 

Cf . the admirable remarks of M. Faguet, op. tit., p. 66. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 233 

unrelieved ugliness in the brutality with which he 
discusses his opponents. What is above all lack- 
ing in his temper is the capacity to understand 
humanity and, understanding, to forgive. The 
first necessity, after all, in a statesman, even in a 
theological statesman, is the readiness to admit 
error. History, in fact, is strewn with the wrecks 
of infallible systems and, in the end, De Maistre 
added but one more to that hapless company. 

He mistook the grounds of the Revolution. He 
misread the character of his age. He seems, 
indeed, to have hated it too greatly to have made 
possible that understanding which, politically at 
least, can be born of sympathy alone. He did not 
remember, or else he chose to forget, the very 
obvious fact that no great historic event can come 
to pass without some justification of equal great- 
ness as its parent. Since the Revolution did not 
accord with his desires, he chose deliberately to 
misrepresent its ideals. He would not understand 
that it had come as a protest against exactly that 
system of which he urged the reconstruction. He 
made the capital error of taking no account of the 
category of time. After all, the events he had 
regretted were on the book of record, and to ignore 
them was in nowise to ensure their oblivion. The 
world that had seen the fall of the Bastile was 
bound to be a different world. To tilt against its 
fundamental principles may have been courage; 
but it was the courage which has been immortalised 
by the dangerous pen of Cervantes. His plan 



234 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

would perhaps have been admirable in the fifth 
century after Christ. One recognises then the need 
of that powerful, even absolute, centralisation for 
which he contended. But to apply the solution of 
the problems of the fifth century to the difficulties 
of the nineteenth was to make too bold a denial of 
the march of mind. Men had thought too infinitely 
for his conclusions to be possible. They had 
known the Papacy too long. They would judge it 
not by the programme it announced but by the 
character its actions suggested it to possess. If 
the Reformation, and its political offspring the 
Revolution, have any definite beginning, they can 
be traced back to the era when what most oppressed 
men was the crimes of Rome. Luther may have 
been ignorant, fleshly, brutal, but he said boldly 
what men wanted to hear. It is not enough to 
proclaim loudly that Rome has never erred when 
men of genius have occupied themselves with the 
pregnant examination of her error. It is an 
inadequate outlook to defame curiosity as sin 
without attempting to enquire whether it is not 
in fact as natural as faith itself. Easy it may be 
to proclaim sovereignty divine, but the real prob- 
lem comes when its defender is asked to justify 
the results of its exercise. The brilliance of De 
Maistre's apologetic does not conceal the vicious- 
ness of its determined obscurantism. 

But it is of his main tenets that there must be 
most serious question. He takes his stand upon 
the splendour of national and religious unity, and 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 235 

his books are in effect a ceaseless hymn to its 
praise. It is for its preservation that his dogmas 
are so pitilessly erected. Sovereignty is politi- 
cally one that thought may cease to be manifold. 
The Church is a monarchy that the single judge 
of the content of faith may pronounce his judg- 
ment without the fatal dissolvent of argument. 
To the need for unity are alike sacrificed reason 
and liberty. We know, of course, the explanation 
of his attitude, nor can we lack compassion for 
the suffering he so courageously endured. But a 
theory which finds no justification in experience 
is not a theory but a dream. To construct a satis- 
factory theory of the State we must be equipped 
with a psychology that is realistic. We must deal 
with men as they are, and desist from the seductive 
temptation to deal with men as they would be could 
they but be induced to appreciate the force of our 
ideas. For we are given variety and difference 
as the basis of our political system, and it is a 
world that takes account of them that we must 
plan. Race, language, nationality, history, all 
these are barriers that make us understand how 
fundamental are the natural limits to unity. And 
within the State itself it is only upon minute issues 
that agreement or compromise is possible; upon 
the basis of conviction, where conscience pricks 
to the utterance, we are, often despite ourselves, 
compelled to retain our souls. A system that 
makes entire abstraction of such facts as these is 
grounded in falsehood and doomed to dissolution. 



236 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Its sovereignty can not remain entire so long as 
there is disagreement, and the means to unity De 
Maistre barely sought to discuss. He argued that 
his papalism would prevent disunion and change 
but he did not see that this was true only to the 
point where the system carried conviction. That 
was the meaning of Hume's caustic saying that 
even despotisms are built upon consent, and it is 
only in a world of De Maistres that consent to 
such a despotism could be possible. The freedom 
of thought from which the Revolution was born 
may have been anarchy ; we can then but note that 
its necessity makes it sacred. We can not make 
a fetich of obedience. To every one there comes a 
point where to bow the knee is worse than death. 
It was a realisation which Luther had at the Diet 
of Worms, which came to Ridley and Latimer in 
the open square of Oxford, to Dollinger, when, in 
1871, he parted with a Church that was dearer to 
him than life. We who care for truth can not 
promote unity if its cost be the suppression of such 
spirits. It may be that such an attitude involves 
the dangerous exaltation of individuality. Yet 
this is an interstitial world to be absorbed into 
which is to lose oneself. A State that is so funda- 
mentally one as never to need the wholesome spur 
of discontent will doubtless avoid a revolution; 
but that will only be because its corporate life is 
dead. The one thing that seems to be historically 
sure in an uncertain world is the fact that progress 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 237 

is born from disagreement and discussion. We 
have, then, to organise our State in such fashion 
as best permits its emergence. 

We may, of course, urge as De Maistre would 
doubtless have argued, that the best of worlds is 
a static world and that the love of progress is an 
illusion. That may be true, but the world, after 
all, is not static, and it is with the given conditions 
that we must cope. And even De Maistre may be 
said to have admitted progress when he remarked 
that every attack on Catholicism has only strength- 
ened it. Development is so certainly the funda- 
mental law of our being that it is therein we must, 
however difficult be the conception, find our truest 
identity. And that is to say that we must lay 
down no immutability of political form. Since 
each of us lives differently our hopes and thoughts 
must be different. That, logically, is the negation 
of the extreme claims of Catholicism. It means 
that the Pope will not possess the sovereignty of 
the world, since there are people who do not agree 
with him. It means that he will be compelled to 
continuous readjustment not less from within than 
from without. It was not without reason that 
Sextus IV and Alexander VI were followed by 
men like Caraffa and Gregory XIII; that to 
Pius IX the liberalism of his successor would have 
been anathema it is difficult indeed to deny. But 
facts such as these prove the futility of a sover- 
eignty that alone would have satisfied De Maistre. 

It is not as a political theorist that he will live 



238 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

but as the trumpeter of a remarkable reaction. 
He is the real author of that Ultramontanism by 
which the nineteenth century Papacy sought the 
restoration of its prestige. It was upon his 
argument that it was founded and his book was 
in reality its watchword. For he gave it cause to 
hope at a time when the humiliation of the 
Revolution seemed to have stricken it beyond 
recovery. He provided logical cause for a hatred 
that before had been but sullenly instinctive. He 
created the materials for a new and more terrible 
Canossa. It was the spirit of De Maistre which 
barred the way to a united Italy. It was the new 
hope that he inspired which caused the condem- 
nation of Lamennais. He was the real author of 
the definition of papal infallibility in 1870. And 
yet in every victory he suffered a defeat. Cavour 
built a new Italy upon the ruins of the temporal 
power. Lamennais is the author of a French 
reformation that is yet to come. The seed sown 
at the Vatican Council has yet to produce its 
harvest. For men have grown in the course of 
time to love freedom and slavery has become a 
losing cause. Yet it is impossible to withhold our 
admiration from a man who battled so earnestly 
for what he deemed right. Even if he loved a 
cause we deem mistaken, it is to his honour that he 
loved it greatly. And it may well prove in the end 
that he served liberty the more truly because he 
did not shrink from proclaiming his hate. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 239 



If in the perspective of history it seems a little 
grimly ironical to connect the name of Bismarck 
with the spirit of religion, yet is it none the less 
certain that his attachment to Christianity was 
deep and sincere." Though as a young man he had 
been a sceptic, 78 his friendship with the Blanken- 
berg circle seems to have convinced him of the 
truth of Christian principles, and he experienced 
all the typical phenomena of religious conversion. 79 
Henceforth he did not doubt the power of God in 
the direction of the world, and he felt to the full 
the significance of the need for human redemption 
from sin. 80 And this new realisation of a vivid 
faith gave him strength in his political life. It 
was therein that he found all the sources of his 
activity. 'If I was not a Christian,' he told 
Ferrieres in the stress of the Franco-Prussian 
War, 81 'I could not hold my position for an hour. 
If I could not count on God's help, I could sacrifice 
nothing for the sake of earthly masters. If I lost 
my faith, of what avail would be my fatherland*?' 

" On Bismarck 's attitude to religion the most important discussion 
is that of Baumgarten, Christliche Welt (1902), pp. 507-512, 587-591, 
626-634. See also Busch, Our Chancellor, Vol. I, Chap. II probably an 
authoritative statement, and Glaser, Bismarck's Stellung sum Christen- 
tum (1909). 

78 Glaser, op. tit., p. 14. 

79 Furst Bismarcks brief e an seine Braut und Gatlin, pp. 5-6 (January 
4, 1847). 

so See the most interesting letter to Andrae Eoman in Bismarck, 
Brief e, 1836-1873, ed. Kohl, p. 420. 

si Busch, Tagenblatter (1899), I, 249. 



240 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Whatever happened in his career he attributed to 
a divine intervention. If he escaped an accident, 
it was God who warded off the danger ; 82 were the 
French defeated, God had chosen thus to reward 
the piety of the German nation. 83 He was, in short, 
essentially an Evangelical whose religion partook 
of that curious inwardness which, in Geneva, made 
of Calvin a tyrant that he might become the parent 
of resistance to tyranny. 

And the political consequences of his attitude 
were no less apparent than they were logical. 
Because he came increasingly to emphasise the 
significance of this inward vision he came also 
certainly to suspect, perhaps even to deprecate, its 
expression in religious societies and institutions. 
Man had only to do his duty and for Bismarck, 
so the indefatigable Busch informs us, 84 the manner 
in which his belief found expression was unim- 
portant. It was this religious spirit that he termed 
'one of the foundations and bulwarks of justice 
and the State. ' 85 For him the State was essentially 
based upon the principles of Christianity, and to 
rob it of that character was to destroy that which 
gave it its crowning distinction. For it was from 
this intimate infusion of the Christian spirit that 
it derived the eternal renewal of its underlying 
truth. 86 

82 Wilmowski, Heine Erinnerungen an Bismarck, p. 186. 
ss Bismarck's Brief 'e an seine Gatlin aus dem Kriege, 1870-1871, 
pp. 70, 76. 

84 Busch, Our Chancellor, Vol. I, p. 106. 
ss Busch, op. cit., I, 115. 
p. 117. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 241 

What it is here important to realise is that, like 
most Evangelical Christians, Bismarck lacked 
any deep sense of an institutional and organised 
Church. Indeed, he would probably have denied 
that religion, as internally grounded, has any need 
of external form, since, so he would have argued, 
it finds its most adequate expression in political 
action. He took no interest in dogmatic prob- 
lems 87 even the internal dissensions of the Ger- 
man Evangelical Churches aroused in him no 
echo of interested response; 88 he had but little 
confidence in the fortification supplied by religious 
observances. 89 For him there was but one insti- 
tution the State and it was to that he devoted 
his energies and, on occasion, sacrificed his con- 
victions. 90 Like the great Stahl, he saw in the 
State a Church, and his theory of its structure 
was at bottom theocratic. 91 It was for this reason 
that he had, in 1847, opposed the emancipation 
of the Jews; for since the State was Christian in 
character, its identity would be destroyed by the 
admission of non-Christian elements into its com- 
position. 92 But the Christian State meant to 
Bismarck neither the vague socialism of F. D. 
Maurice and of Kingsley, nor the control of that 

ST Whitman, Reminiscences of Bismarck, p. 296. 
88 Busch, op. cit., I, pp. 154-155. 

8 Aiis dem Leben der beiden ersten deutschen Kaiser und ihrer 
Frauen (1906), p. 309. 

so Busch, op. cit., I, 121-122. 

91 On Stahl, see the admirable essay of Jacobowski, Der CJiristliche 
Staat und seine Zukunft (1894). 

92 Eeden, I, 22. 



242 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

State by a Church. It meant simply the govern- 
ance of its political conduct by the rules of life 
which Bismarck, in all sincerity, believed that he 
received from God. He was thus logically bound 
to hate all organisations which might embarrass 
the State, for such embarrassment was the clear 
proof of an anti-religious spirit. His State was 
simply the Hegelian conception taken to the plane 
of action, and raison d'etat justified everything. 93 
What he did for the welfare of the State he could 
not doubt was for the welfare of his Church since 
it came directly from his intimate union with God. 
*I believe,' he said in 1873, 94 'that I am serving my 
God by serving my King,' and it was this which 
explains his love of unity in political activity. He 
simply could not understand antagonism to his 
policy where raison d'etat was its justification; 
for it seemed to him not dissimilar to direct 
antagonism against the divine will. 95 He was thus, 
perhaps, the most completely Erastian statesman 
who has ever lived, since his identification of 
politics with religion is final and absolute. In such 
a view he would be compelled to regard with 
vehement hostility the exclusion of any sphere of 
life from the control of the State ; and this surely 
explains why he seems to have regarded with 
suspicious dislike the Prussian measure of 1850 

93 Her suspicion of ' raison d '6tat ' was the secret of his antagonism 
to the Empress Augusta. See the very striking remarks in Bismarck, 
GedanJcen und Erinnerungen, I, p. 302. 

4 Buseh, op. cit., I, 136. 

6 See the BismarcTc Jahrbuch, 1895, Vol. II, p. 335. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 243 

which had guaranteed autonomy to the Church. 98 
He, in fact, deified the State, and in the light of 
such an identification, the toleration of variety 
became completely impossible. 

It was obvious that in such a mind the Roman 
Catholic Church would awaken no sympathy. It 
ran directly counter to all for which he stood ; and 
that the more so in an age when, in its warfare 
against the Revolution, the Papacy had refur- 
bished the weapons of Ultramontanism. For 
Rome claimed a sovereignty superior to that of 
kings. She regarded the Church as a complete 
and perfect society, determined to brook no inter- 
ference with her internal affairs. That Church, 
further, like Bismarck's own State, demanded 
the undeviating allegiance from its subjects. It 
was, moreover, an infallible Church, nor did it 
permit question of its judgments. No organisa- 
tion was so centralised or so patiently efficient. 
No organisation was less ready to admit the virtue 
of change. The Church laid down its fundamental 
laws and, at the risk of forfeiting their salvation, 
men were compelled to obey. Clearly in such a 
view a conflict of sovereignty might arise. The 
attainment of unity was impossible. If Bismarck 
could issue commands which the Roman Catholic 
members of the German empire might refuse, at 
the papal behest, to obey, the dream of twenty 
years was a vain and empty thing. A struggle 
between empire and papacy became again essen- 

Eeden, VI, p. 269. 



244 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

tial since the absolutism of Bismarck's sovereignty 
would not admit the existence of spheres of sepa- 
rate influence. If the Roman Catholic Church 
differentiated between things which were of 
Caesar, and those which were of God, Bismarck 
denied the distinction. Since to him the world 
meant Germany, within its confines he would 
permit no division of power. That, to his mind, 
was the fundamental error of granting eccle- 
siastical ^dependence. He saw no meaning in 
that term or, if he did, it was a meaning fraught 
with danger. If the emperor could not be master 
in his own house, Bismarck would drive out those 
who doubted his domination. 'If such a sect as 
the Ultramontanes,' he declared proudly, 97 'can 
not be at one with the ambitions of the State, and 
even endangers those ambitions, clearly the State 
can not tolerate their existence/ For it would be 
the blasphemy of politics to destroy the identity 
of the ethics of the State. It was the negation of 
that Hegelian sovereignty the empire was proudly 
to personify. 

VI 

Such was the psychological basis of the Kultur- 
kampf. That is not to say that it was for the 
enforcement of these political views that Bismarck 
embarked upon his most disastrous enterprise. 
Certainly it was not the definition of papal inf alli- 

97 See Wilmowski, Heine Erinnerungen an Bismarck (1909), p. 189. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 245 

bility which moved him to action; for not only 
did he very decisively refuse Hohenlohe 's sug- 
gestion of concerted action against the Vatican 
Council, but Hohenlohe at one time even suspected 
that he was the secret ally of the Jesuits. 98 The 
great canonist Schulte found him unwilling to 
take action against the infallibilist German 
bishops." It seems, on the contrary, that with 
him the Roman policy was the natural result of 
the method he employed in founding the empire. 
'My one ideal,' he said in 1879, 100 'was the unifica- 
tion of Germany under Prussian leadership. To 
that everything is accessory.' It was when he 
discovered that, as he conceived the Catholics of 
Germany stood in the path of his ambition that 
he set out to ensure their destruction. That he 
did not desire war with them is surely evident 
enough from August Reichensperger's express 
exoneration of him from hostility in motive to the 
Church. 101 It was but one of the institutions he 
felt it incumbent upon him to sacrifice in his 
pursuit of the Austinian chimera. 

It was the unity of the German empire he had 
set himself to achieve. He had fought Austria 
as a step towards its achievement, because he 

8 Hohenlohe, DenJcwurtigTceiten, II, 61-66. It should, however, be 
noted that, according to Frederic III, Bismarck told the Grand Duke of 
Baden, on the morrow of Sedan, that he intended to fight infallibility. 
Kaiser Friedrich's Tagebucher (1902), p. 107. 

99 Schulte, Liebenserinnerungen, I, 378. 

100 Busch, TageribucKblatter, II, 547. See the Life by Pastor, II, 387. 

101 Pastor, Ruchensperger, II, 49. 



246 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

believed that the new Germany must have a 
Hohenzollern and not a Hapsburg as its leader. 
When Sedan gave him victory over France it was 
possible to state the terms of the new problem, 
but not, as yet, to solve it. The permanence of 
the new empire he did not feel wholly assured. 
Poland was an old danger, and it had by no 
means proved capable of adequate Germanisation ; 
Poland was notoriously Catholic, and Jesuit 
influence there was known to be strong. The 
Roman question puzzled him greatly. He dreamed 
always of a revanche; and it seemed to him that 
a Franco-Italian alliance might well serve as its 
basis; 102 and if he forestalled France, as a Latin 
and Catholic power she might easily turn to the 
aid of the stricken Papacy. If the Roman Catho- 
lic sympathy for Pius IX was so deep as Bismarck 
believed, could he feel certain of their loyalty? 103 
Bavaria was preponderantly Catholic and Bavaria 
showed no eagerness to affirm its adherence to the 
new empire; and when Bismarck had asked for 
Antonelli's assistance in securing the Catholic vote 
in the Bavarian Parliament, his request had been 
politely refused. 104 Alsace-Lorraine, again, was 
predominantly Catholic in character; and its 
discontent with its new masters the Papacy was 

102 See Govone, MSmoires (French translation), p. 521 seq. Boullier, 
Victor Emanuel et Maszini, p. 251 seq. 

103 Halm, Filrst Bismarck (1878), I, 720-723. 

104 Goyau, Bismarck et Le Kulturkampf, I, 52. I can not too greatly 
express my debt to this admirable work easily the best extant on the 
subject. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 247 

unwilling to alleviate. 105 When he remembered 
that as a Protestant power, as the victor, moreover, 
in a conflict with the two greatest Catholic nations, 
Prussia could hardly inspire affection at Rome, 
it was not difficult for his mind to consider very 
seriously if the allegiance German Catholics owed 
to the Roman see, which he considered essentially 
a political power, 106 was not at the root of his 
difficulties. If he could destroy that bond, the 
obstacle to unity might be removed. 

Internal political causes seemed to point in the 
same direction. The National liberals had been 
enthusiastic for unification; and they were the 
theoretical antagonists of clericalism. It was their 
intellectual leader, Bluntschli, who at Worms in 
1869 declared that the success of German liberty 
depended upon the destruction of Roman in- 
fluence. 107 They had already urged upon Bismarck 
the dangers of monasticism 108 and the religious 
control of schools. 109 Journalists were writing of 
the French defeat as the prelude to a campaign 
against Ultramontanism in the party papers. 110 
Men of their school were speaking of the great 
victory as a step forward for Luther's cause. 111 
If Germanism was synonymous with Protestant- 

106 Goyau, op. cit., I, p. 53. 

106 Poschinger, Fiirst Bismarck, I, 68. 

IOT Bluntschli, Denkwurtiges, III, 232. 

los Ibid., Ill, 193. 

looj&td., in, 253. 

no Goyau, op. cit., I, 68. 

in Goyau, I, 71. 



248 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

ism, as they did not cease to proclaim, Bismarck 
would have no doubts as to the requisite policy. 
'Not France alone,' wrote the Alsatian Schnee- 
gans, 112 ' declared war on Germany; it was Borne 
which desired a deadly combat with Protestant- 
ism. ' And Treitschke was proclaiming loudly the 
import of that religion to Prussia. 113 

If Protestantism thus showed signs of militancy, 
the Catholics were no less watchful. In the 
Prussian elections of 1870, some sixty of them 
were returned to the Chamber, and in men like 
Windthorst, Savigny, Reichensperger, they had 
politicians of unusual ability. Their very organ- 
isation roused serious anger among the National 
Liberals, and they were soon charged with having 
as their object a conspiracy against the State. 114 
Bismarck must have noted its formation with 
some disquiet; for the Ultramontane Bishop 
Ketteler, urging to him that the German victory 
over France was too largely interpreted as a 
Protestant victory with unfortunate results in the 
pacification of Alsace-Lorraine, had suggested that 
peace might the sooner come if the Catholics out- 
side Prussia were given the same liberty as within 
it. 115 Did that mean, as it seemed to imply, that 
the Catholics were German in a different sense 
from the Protestants? At any rate he allowed 
his journalist Blum to announce that the Centre 

112 Schneegans, Memoiren, p. 54. 

11 3 Historische und politische Aufsaetse, III, 610. 
11* Majunke, Geschichte des CulturTcampfes, p. 144. 
us Eaich, Brief e von und an Ketteler, p. 422. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 249 

was hostile to the German State a sign of growing 
suspicion. 116 In the imperial elections of 1871 
Ketteler's letter became the basis of a definite 
programme and forty-three Catholics of the centre 
were elected. 117 To the press the Centre was 
simply an instrument in the hands of Rome, the 
tool of Ultramontanism, and thus in its conception 
anti-national. 118 Its members seemed no less sus- 
picious since Windthorst was an enthusiastic 
papalist, and Ketteler, as a bishop, might be 
considered as an official representative of Rome; 
and Bismarck, at the outset of his career as a 
deputy, made him understand that between Catho- 
lic and layman there was already a grave distinc- 
tion. 119 It seemed not a little suggestive that the 
first speeches of these two suspects should be in 
response to an attempt on the part of the National 
Liberals to make the ground of conflict one between 
Rome and Germany. 120 It was, to say the least, 
menacing that Bismarck, on the eve of the debate, 
should have given Italy the assurance that he was 
disposed to be friendly towards it. 121 For friend- 
ship with Italy could mean only hostility to the 
Papacy, and, from such an attitude, it was but a 
logical road to the Falk Laws. The meaning of 

n Goyau, I, 82. 
iif/fctd., I, 95. 

us Holtzendorff, Das Deutsche Beich und die Constituirung der 
Christlichen Beligionsparteien, p. 16. 
us Goyau, op. tit., I, 101. 
120 Goyau, op. tit., I, 105. 
iziRothan, L'Allegmane et L'ltalie, II, 380. 



250 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

his attitude was clear. The old principle of a 
territorial religion of which the empire should be 
the divinity had come to be for him the solution 
of these ecclesiastical complications. 

On the first of April, 1871, he made quite appar- 
ent the drift of his thought. A Polish member 
of the Reichstag had denied the voluntary affilia- 
tion of Poland with the Empire in the name of 
his country. It was a direct challenge to Bis- 
marck's conception of the State, and he did not 
fail to take it up. i Behind you,' he retorted 
angrily, 122 'you have naught save errors and 
illusions. You think that the Polish nation has 
elected you to represent it, but, in truth, you have 
been elected to represent the interests of the 
Catholic Church, and if you defend them when 
they are under discussion, you will have fulfilled 
your electoral function.' It was a notable identi- 
fication. It could mean only that he had declared 
war on the Roman Church and the Grand Duke 
of Weimar regarded it as his first overt attack 
on Ultramontanism. 123 Windthorst saw clearly 
the drift of his mind when he declared that it was 
an attempt to enslave the Church. And it is of 
interest to note that Treitschke denounced the 
Roman claim of a free Church within the State 
as equivalent to a demand for the right to rebel- 
lion. 124 It is often difficult to distinguish between 

122 Bismarck, Eeden, V, 16. 

123 Busch, Tagenbuchblatter, II, 222. 

124 Goyau, op. tit., I, 113. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 251 

the thought of Treitschke and the practice of his 
master. 

The issue was defined; it was not yet joined. 
If the Centre was anti-imperial diplomatic nego- 
tiations with Rome might bring its members to 
their senses ; and journalistic pressure might make 
plain to the Pope the danger of embroiling himself 
with the public opinion of Germany. Tauffldrchen 
was accordingly despatched to Rome to explain 
to the Papacy the help given to its enemies by the 
lamentable aggressions of the Centre; 125 while 
Busch was commissioned to write articles to the 
same effect. 126 Antonelli disavowed any attempt 
at criticism of the Centre, 127 and thus increased the 
anger of Bismarck who had already found new 
causes of suspicion in its support of the demo- 
crats 128 for him outside the State and their 
opposition to the grant to the successful generals 
of the recent war. 129 Bismarck appealed in vain 
to the papal approval of the Versailles ceremony. 130 
He began to accuse the Centre of Jesuitism, and 
to remind the Church that for three hundred years 
it had failed to conquer the Teutonic genius. 131 
But he could obtain nothing satisfactory. Rome 
pursued its ancient policy of patience; for Ket- 

125 Bismarck, Politische Brief e, I, 265 ff. 

126 Busch, Tagenbuchblatter, II, 226. 

127 Raich, op. cit., p. 443. 

128 Hohenlohe, DenTcwurtiglceiten, II, 64. 

129 Pastor Reichensperger, II, p. 30. 

130 Bismarck, Beden, V, 204. 

, V, 206. 



252 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

teler had put it on its guard against Ms accusa- 
tions. 132 He sent the Prussian minister to dine at 
the Quirinal. 133 Antonelli's reply was to inform 
him that 'Rome could not break with the party 7 
he so bitterly hated. 134 

'The members of the Centre/ he said a little 
later, 135 'are trying to make us Italians/ and it was 
of this he had become convinced by his negotiations 
with Rome. The papal refusal seemed to him 
evidence that he was dealing with a State within 
a State, and that reprisals were essential if the 
sovereignty of the empire was to be maintained. 
If he sought for means, they were near at hand in 
an alliance with the National Liberals who as the 
bitter antagonists of the Papacy were prepared 
with a policy that might accomplish its destruction. 
It was the old antagonism of priestcraft and king- 
craft. 136 If the Centre treated his government as 
an enemy it was clearly necessary to treat its 
master as he had treated Austria and beat him 
into submission. Rome, as he now saw, was 
associated everywhere with his enemies. She 
endeavoured to rule in France, in Bavaria, in 
Poland; at the Vatican Council, as Dollinger's 
excommunication seemed to show, she had laid 
claim once more to the lordship of the world. He 
would make plain the sovereignty of the State. 

132 Pfulf , Ketteler, III, 153. 

133 Favre, Rome et la R6publique Fran$aise, p. 143-144. 
is* Bismarck, Politische Brief e, I, 268. 

IBS See Poschinger, Bismarck und die Parliamentarier, II, 160. 
ise Politische Beden, XII, 348. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 253 

VII 

It was the ancient contest of Guelf and Ghibel- 
line prolonged into a modern time. What was 
changed was not so much the manner of the 
struggle as the roots from which it sprung. As 
in the medieval time it had been the function of 
the State to be the police department of the Church, 
so to Bismarck the Church in the modern age 
seemed to have a similar part to play. 137 But there 
was the same attitude of suspicion between the 
two powers. "This is a question of Church and 
State,' said Bismarck at Gastein to Monsignor 
Vallet, 138 'as a statesman I hate the Church/ He 
hated it because it threatened the unity of his 
State. He conceived of allegiance as one, and it 
was part of the danger inherent in any eccle- 
siastical organisation that it undermined that 
oneness. While, verbally, he admitted the 
Church's right to absolute freedom in her own 
domain, he still held that her sphere must be 
denned by the State and, as the Falk Laws bear 
witness, controlled by it. 139 The Kulturkampf 
seemed to him 'the primeval fight for supremacy 
between royalty and priesthood. . . . What we 
aim at is the protection of the State, the establish- 

137 On the nature of the relation between medieval Church and State 
the reader can consult Dr. Figgis ' brilliant paper, printed as an appendix 
to his Churches in the Modern State, 

iss See the interesting little brochure of Mgr. Vallet, Le prince de 
Bismarck a Gastein (1906), p. 16. 

189 Of. Busch, Our Chancellor, Vol. I, p. 135. 



254 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

ment of a distinct boundary-line between priestly 
dominion and Royal rule, denned in such sort that 
the State may be enabled to abide by it. For, in 
the kingdom of this world, the State is entitled to 
power and precedence/ 140 But that was virtually 
to deny the doctrine of a separate sphere for 
Church and State and to assert the superiority of 
the latter. He can hardly have hoped for peace 
when he promulgated such a doctrine against 
Rome. A remark of Busch's on this attitude 
perhaps throws light on the Chancellor's mind. 
'For Protestant States to achieve peaceful rela- 
tions with the Church of Rome/ writes that dutiful 
commentator," 1 'is under the most favourable 
circumstances a problem like that of squaring 
the circle, the solution of which one may go very 
near, but never quite attain.' Such an attitude, 
added to his fear that the Vatican contemplated 
a 'gesta Dei per Francos' 142 was sufficient in itself 
to give him a theory of political action against a 
foreign and interfering prelate. Regarding the 
Pope as he did, simply as the head of the Centre 
party, 143 it is little wonder that difficulties should 
have arisen. It was not, of course, from theory 
that he fought. 'It is unworthy of a great State,' 
he had said in 1850, 144 'to fight for any question 
that does not concern its own interests;' and he 

1*0 Bismarck, Eeden, V, 382. 
i Busch, op. cit., I, 138. 
142/Znd., p. 139. 
143/Znd., p. 147. 
I** Hid., p. 183. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 255 

fought Rome as holding in its hand the key to his 
French and Polish difficulties. He believed, as the 
National Liberal Bennigsen put it, 145 that the 
Ultramontanes desired 'not conciliation but domi- 
nation' and he would strive against that to the end. 
If the Papacy chose to ally itself with a party 
which, in attacking him, threatened the unity of 
the empire, he must vindicate the sovereignty so 
challenged. 148 It might be, as Krementz stingingly 
told him, that he was trying to make Prussia play 
the part of Julian the Apostate ; 147 but at any rate 
Julian had not hesitated to assert the authority of 
the empire. That was why, as he laboriously ex- 
plained, 148 he had suppressed the Catholic division 
in the Ministry of Public Worship, 'for it repre- 
sented not the rights of the State but rather the 
rights of the Catholic Church. ' They were rather 
papalists than Germans; and they must go if the 
integrity of the empire was to be maintained. 149 
They destroyed the peculiarly Germanic character 
he had endeavoured to develop. They were Poles, 
and they repudiated the German nationality. 150 
The Catholic division facilitated the teaching of 
Polish in Polish schools a thoroughly anti- 
German work. And when he remembered that the 

1*5 Oncken, Bennigsen, II, 218. 

i* See his retrospect of April 21, 1887, in Eeden, XII, 369 seq. 

i*7 Siegfried, Actenstucke bet. reffend den preussischen Kulturlcampf, 
p. 46. 

1*8 Bismarck, Gedariken, II, 128. 

i*9Beden, VI, 270. 

150 gee his conversation about Kraezig with Auguste Eeichensperger, 
reported in Poschinger, Bismarck und die Parliamentarier, II, 184. 



256 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

Poles were born rebels, it was not difficult to see 
a widespread conspiracy. 151 His press continually 
compared the Ultramontanes to the Poles and the 
French the enemies of German nationality. 155 
'Your bishops/ he told Auguste Reichensperger, 155 
'are not safe; Ketteler corresponds with that Pole 
Kosmian. They only care about ecclesiastical 
interests. I respect every manner of faith . . . 
but I can not allow a powerful enemy threatening 
to Germany to organise itself. ' He believed he had 
proofs of the Polish taint in the Jesuits; 154 later 
he urged that they were guilty of the almost equal 
sin of plotting to lead the Social democrats. 158 
Hohenlohe explained the true character of the 
conflict. 'We begin the old medieval conflict 
again,' he said, 156 'I am a Ghibelline and I shall 
always be of that party.' And to consolidate the 
empire Bismarck, too, would take up the ancient 
text. 

It is thus that we have to interpret the nature 
of the anti-clerical legislation. 157 The Falk Laws 
are an attempt to insist on the universal para- 
mountcy of German influences. The expulsion of 
the Jesuits removed an order which he believed 
to be concerned with the promotion of Polish 

151 Of. Majunke, GescTiicte des CulturTcampfes, p. 198. 
102 Goyau, op. cit., II, 96. 
153 Pastor, EeicTiensperger, II, 63. 
IB* Hohenlohe, Denlcwurtigkeiten, II, 78. 
issReden, XI, 250-251. 
150 Goyau, op. cit., I, 317. 

157 M. Goyau has conveniently reprinted the text of the laws in the 
fourth volume of his excellent work. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 257 

interests. 158 The refusal of bishoprics to any save 
a German who has followed a course of study 
approved by the government 159 has a clear purport 
not merely of purging the Catholic episcopate of 
men not likely to be in sympathy with German 
ideals, but also of placing their education under 
a strict governmental supervision. The third 
clause in the sixteenth article of this law is par- 
ticularly noteworthy. 'When there exists,' it 
states, 160 'against a candidate facts which give 
grounds for the opinion either that he will not 
observe the laws of the State and the arrangements 
made by the authorities within the legal limits of 
their powers, or that he will disturb the public 
peace,' his confirmation may be refused. 'Raison 
d'etat,' in fact, will serve as a sufficient excuse for 
denying an otherwise fit appointment ; in this way 
Germany could rid itself bit by bit of the Ultra- 
montanes. It is important, moreover, to bear in 
mind both the civil penalties attached to the laws 
and the establishment of a State Court of Appeal. 
This was, in implication, the assertion of the 
superiority of State to Church. The twenty-fourth 
article 161 went even further and gave the State the 
right of interference with ecclesiastical functions 
where it deemed them improperly performed. 
Against the law of thirteenth of May, 1873, which 
limited ecclesiastical punishments to those of a 

168 This is the Imperial Law of July 4, 1872. Goyau, IV, 225. 
159 This is the law of May 11, 1873. Goyau, IV, 227. 
io Goyau, IV, 231. 
lei Ibid., IV, 238. 



258 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

purely spiritual kind, 162 it is difficult to take serious 
objection; though it is worth remarking that the 
Church is forbidden to inflict or to threaten 
pecuniary penalties. The law of the twentieth of 
May, 1874, 163 virtually handed over the control of 
vacant bishoprics to the State, thus rendering 
it difficult to enforce an objectionable appointment. 
All religious orders, save those of a semi-medical 
character, were forbidden on Prussian soil. 1 *" 
Catholic Churches on Prussian soil were handed 
over to the old Catholics in such parishes as those 
in which the majority consisted of their sympa- 
thisers, for certain hours of the day; 165 though 
Bismarck must have known that to the Catholics 
this was simply the desecration of a sacred edifice. 
The State charged itself with the surveillance of 
the fiscal administration of the Church, forbidding 
it to build or collect funds without permission; a 
law which of course placed in lay hands half the 
possibility of church extension. 166 To the lay 
control of schools, established with a similar 
object, it is difficult to find grounds of exception. 
But it is clear that no more thorough-going 
Erastianism than this has ever been attempted. 
Every corner of Church policy was swept by the 
grim hand of the State. While it is possible to 
admire the relentless thoroughness with which the 

182 Hid., IV, 241. 

lesj&td., IV, 246. 

IB* Prussian Law of May 31, 1875. Goyau, IV, 256. 

les Law of July 4, 1875. Goyau, IV, 272. 

16 Prussian Law of June 7, 1876. Goyau, IV, 274. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 259 

legislation is conceived, it is also difficult to deny 
that such legislation would have annihilated any 
conception of a Church worthy of the name. It 
would have turned it into no more than an organ 
for the propagation of the opinions of an im- 
perious chancellor upon German unity. It would 
have prevented the Roman Catholic Church from 
remaining true no less to the letter than to the 
spirit of its endeavour. It would have made it 
admit to virtual membership excommunicated 
members of its own communion. Clearly to 
antagonism such as this only an unfaltering 
hostility was possible. 

The history of the Kulturkampf showed how 
greatly Bismarck had mistaken the strength of 
his opponents. He fined, he imprisoned, he in- 
flicted a virtual exile ; but the Church replied only 
with contempt. In the Reichstag itself he found in 
men like Windthorst and Reichensperger foemen 
in every way worthy of his own powers. Despite 
his utmost efforts and unconcealed chagrin the 
numbers of the Centre grew, and those of the 
National Liberals diminished until the Catholics 
were in virtual control of the House. The ban- 
ished prelates continued, in despite of his laws, 
to exercise their functions from Rome and Hol- 
land, and they found a willing obedience. All his 
efforts to obtain some compromise with the Centre 
or with the Vatican met with the utmost diplo- 
matic politeness but also with the completest 
refusal. Little by little he was compelled to turn 



260 



from alliance with the National Liberals to his old 
friendship with the Conservatives a change which 
involved also his humiliation. 'If,' he had said in 
1874, 167 'I was stranded on an island where there 
were only two men, a Catholic and a Scandinavian, 
I believe I should make friends with the latter.' 
But in 1879 the same Bismarck was nominating 
a member of the 'anti-German' Centre, Franken- 
stein, to the vice-presidency of the Reichstag; 198 
on the twenty-ninth of June, 1879, he was dis- 
missing Falk ; 169 in 1883 he sent the Crown Prince 
Frederic to the Vatican; 170 in 1884 he asked for 
papal mediation in his difficulties with Spain; 171 
finally, in 1886 and 1887, came the abrogation of 
the Falk Laws. It was the 'little Canossa' he had 
tried vainly to conceal amid his smiles. 172 

VIII 

So he learned the meaning of a sovereignty 
within Germany which yet did not belong to 
the German State. 'You will never be German 
citizens,' said the historian Baumgarten to the 
Catholics in words which might have been Bis- 

167 Poschinger, Stud. ~bei Bismarck (1910), p. 159. 
lesQoyau, III, 77. 

i On Falk 's dismissal and his own interpretation of it, see Fischer, 
Falk, p. 17. 

170 Philippson, Friedrich, III, p. 367. 

171 Goyau, op. cit., IV, 61 f. 

172 Lefebre de Behaine, L6on XIII et Bismarck, p. 86. The whole of 
this admirable book, by the French ambassador at Eome during the 
Kulturkampf, must be consulted for Bismarck's tortuous negotiations. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 261 

marck's; 173 and if that meant that they were to 
be faithless to their religion its truth was unde- 
niable. But it was a different Bismarck who, in 
1881, acclaimed the German Catholics as his 
compatriots, and the institutions of their Church, 
the Papacy included, as part of the great con- 
federation it had been his task to create. 174 It was 
a different Bismarck from him who, in 1875, had 
urged that if Prance submitted to the new Ultra- 
montanism the peace of Europe must be broken ; 175 
and in the same year had urged the vital necessity 
of defending the State against an aggressive Catho- 
lic Church. 176 In the interval he had learned a 
mighty lesson. 

He had learned that the world, even the Ger- 
manic world, is not one and indivisible. He had 
defined the State to himself as a power which, to 
maintain itself, must prove its sovereignty over 
every department of human life. He would have 
agreed with Calhoun that the division of sover- 
eignty was its destruction. So, in one aspect, he 
would contend that the Kulturkampf was no more 
than the vindication for the State of rights that 
were in reality its own. 'We can not/ he said, 177 
1 concede to the Church the permanent right of 
exercising part of the powers of the State; and 
while the Church is in possession of such a pre- 
17 3 See his amazing Luther Eedivivus (1878), pp. 254-255. 
n*Beden, IX, 162. 
iTBGoyau, II, 109. 
" Ibid., II, 247. 
i" Busch, Tagenbuchblatter, II, 322. 



262 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

rogative we must, for the sake of peace, restrain 
its activities.' But the Falk Laws show clearly 
that his notion of restraint involved the extension 
of the powers of the State into a field where no 
Catholic could admit its exercise and where con- 
flict was bound to result. Doubtless so to derogate 
from the unity he envisaged as desirable was to 
lessen the completeness of the sovereignty he 
pursued; but it was to limit it in the direction of 
its natural boundaries. It was useless for him to 
contend that no difficulties would ever have arisen 
if the Centre had only helped him to complete the 
unity of the empire. 178 He defined unity in such 
a manner as to make possible only their opposition. 
He did not see, as Treitschke so clearly understood, 
that the sovereignty of a State is simply the power 
that State has at its disposal ; 179 though where the 
Prussian historian would have found that power 
in the army, we tend, in the modern State, to find 
it in the degree of consent a measure can command. 
Bismarck learned that sovereignty must thus be 
essentially an illusory concept since its exercise 
at any moment belongs to the realm not of the 
certain but of the probable. But his defeat would 
have taught him also the error in Treitschke 's 
teaching that the State is 'born and dies with the 
exercise of its sovereignty'; 180 for assuredly the 
German State did not disappear because it was 

ITS Bismarck, GedanTcen, II, 150. 

ITS See Treitschke 's Zehn Jahre Deutscher Kampfe, II, 238-239. 

iso Op. cit. 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 263 

worsted in the Kulturkampf. It was simply 
demonstrated that men belong not to one all- 
inclusive group, the State, but to a variety of 
groups, and that, in the last resort, they will follow 
the demands of their conscience. It was useless 
for Bismarck to demand its subjugation to the 
needs of the State, to urge that in making war on 
the State the Church was usurping one of the 
State's prerogatives. Such argument was born 
from the failure to understand that the State is 
an institution like any other and that rights must 
find their justification in the support they can 
command. There may be a divorce between 
politics and morals, but, in all final questions, we 
begin to perceive the clear sign of their essential 
identity. It was Bismarck's difficulty that he 
failed to understand their union, and was thus 
unable to resolve his problem into its constituent 
parts. 

IX 

Where De Maistre speaks of the Church, Bis- 
marck speaks of the State; where De Maistre 
discusses the Papacy, Bismarck is discussing the 
German empire. Otherwise, at bottom, the thought 
is essentially the same. Nor was their problem 
different. De Maistre had to confront a world 
which the Revolution had smashed into an atomic 
chaos and it was in the world-sovereignty of Rome 
that he found its new centre of unity. Bismarck 



264 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

found a bewildering congeries of unimportant and 
fragmentary communities from which a great 
empire had to be builded and it was in the single 
hegemony of Prussia that he found his instru- 
ment. What De Maistre feared was intellectual 
opposition ; the chief bane of Bismarck was politi- 
cal antagonism. The fundamental faith of each 
was beyond the sphere of reason with De Maistre 
it was the dogmas of Catholicism, with Bismarck 
the revelations of an evangelical Christianity. 
Each saw in a world of individualisation the guar- 
antee of disruption and evolved a theory to secure 
its suppression. Each loved passionately the ideal 
of unity since that seemed to them both the surest 
guarantee of survival. Each saw truth as one and 
therefore doubted the rightness of a sovereignty 
that was either fallible or divisible; and each in 
the end came to the realisation that his theories 
were inconsistent with the facts of life. Each 
failed to understand that tremendous truth incul- 
cated by Lamennais when he urged that the real 
unity of doctrine whether political or religious 
can come only from possession of freedom. It is 
useless to paint truth as one unless preparation is 
made to carry on the perpetual warfare that will 
result from disagreement with its nature. That 
was the fundamental defect in the minds of both. 
They did not see that however organic be the 
community in which we live, man is a solitary no 
less than a social being, and his ideal world is at 
bottom interstitial. However much he acts in 



DE MAISTRE AND BISMARCK 265 

common, he wishes also to act alone ; however much 
he thinks as a member of the herd, he will wish 
also to think as a lonely wanderer. It is, perhaps, 
an antinomy ; but it is one which no theory of the 
State dare afford to neglect. For an attitude which 
makes the boundaries of authority commensurate 
with the bounds of mind is at war with the instincts 
most pregnant with human good. 



APPENDIX A 

A NOTE ON SOVEREIGNTY AND 
FEDERALISM 

HAD lie commented with any fullness upon it, 
the Constitution of the United States would 
doubtless have provoked the vehement derision of 
John Austin, for nowhere, either in theory or in 
practice, has it chosen to erect an instrument of 
sovereign power. In England, as De Lolme told 
us a century ago, nature alone has set limits to 
the omnicompetence of the king in Parliament, 
and what he so forcibly taught Professor Dicey 
has reiterated in the most famous of all his books. 
So that, in some sort, there would seem a theo- 
retical deficiency in American government. We 
do not know who rules. Certainly the president 
is not absolute. Neither to Congress nor to the 
Supreme Court is unlimited power decreed. And, 
as if to make confusion worse confounded, there 
cut athwart this dubiousness certain sovereign 
rights possessed by the States alone. 

Professor Dicey would shrug his shoulders and 
tell us that it is the natural consequence of federal- 
ism. It is, he writes, 'the method by which fed- 
eralism attempts to reconcile the apparently 
inconsistent claims of national sovereignty and 



268 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

State sovereignty.' The sarcasm is but thinly 
veiled. The fathers reconciled these opposites by 
abolishing altogether any notion of Austinian 
sovereignty. Federal government, we are there- 
fore told, is notoriously weak government, since 
in it there is no final arbiter. The legislature of 
the United States, or of Canada, for the matter 
of that, is degraded to the level of an English 
railway company. It is a non-sovereign law- 
making body. It derives its powers, like the 
Great Eastern Railway Company, from a written 
document, which simultaneously limits them. 
Federalism, Professor Dicey notes further, tends 
to produce Conservatism. For the Constitution 
is written and rigid. It acquires a kind of sacro- 
sanct character in the eyes of the people. Change 
of any kind becomes difficult because it almost 
seems irreligious. It is condemned before it is 
attempted. The unitary method of government 
impresses Professor Dicey as being as far more 
admirable in conception as it is more efficacious 
in results. 

Any criticism of this well-established doctrine 
has at least two obvious lines of attack. We 
might, in the first place, urge that to talk of par- 
liamentary omnicompetence in such downright 
fashion is to beg the whole question. Theoretically 
existent, practically Parliamentary sovereignty is, 
in the technical sense, an absurdity. The British 
Parliament may be the legal superior of the 
colonial legislatures; but everyone is well aware 



SOVEREIGNTY AND FEDERALISM 269 

that it dare not in fact override them on any 
fundamental question. When the South African 
Parliament forbade the admission of Indians to 
the Transvaal, Great Britain felt that a grave 
injustice had been inflicted on a meritorious section 
of its subjects; but Great Britain did not dare, 
despite the theoretical sovereignty of its legis- 
lature, to repair the injustice so inflicted. When 
Lord Grey tried, in 1849-1850, to turn the Cape 
of Good Hope into a penal colony, he was com- 
pelled, despite the delegation to him of sovereign 
power, to desist. Lord Brougham caused the 
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to be 
created the supreme tribunal in ecclesiastical 
cases; but it is notorious that churchmen have 
refused to accept its decisions as binding in 
spiritual matters. Sir James Graham, in 1843, 
took the legally admirable ground that if the 
courts upheld the right of lay entry into patronage 
in the Scottish Church he must uphold their 
decision in Parliament; but that legal rectitude 
did not prevent Dr. Chalmers and his colleagues 
disrupting the Church to emphasise their dissent. 
In a more recent time, when the Welsh miners 
struck in complete defiance of the provisions of 
the Munitions Act, it was found simply impossible 
to enforce its penalties. The American Revolution 
was, on the English side, an experiment in applied 
Austinianism. It is surely obvious that a sover- 
eignty so abstract is practically without utility. 
The second method of approach is more con- 



270 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

structive. It is the result of the view that sover- 
eignty, rightly regarded, ought not to be defined 
as omnicompetence at all. Sovereignty is, in its 
exercise, an act of will, whether to do or to refrain 
from doing. It is an exercise of will behind which 
there is such power as to make the expectation of 
obedience reasonable. Now it does not seem 
valuable to urge that a certain group, the State, 
can theoretically secure obedience to all its acts, 
because we know that practically to be absurd. 
This granted, it is clear that the sovereignty of the 
State does not in reality differ from the power 
exercised by a Church or a trade union. The 
obedience the Church or trade union will secure 
depends simply on what measure of resistance the 
command inspires. So that, on this view, when 
Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, when a 
Church issues a new doctrinal order, when a trade 
union proclaims a strike, all are exercising a power 
that differs only in degree, not in kind, from that 
of the State. Analysed into its elements sover- 
eignty is, after all, not such a very formidable 
thing. It is the obvious accompaniment of per- 
sonality, and the main characteristic of person- 
ality is the power to will. Sometimes wills, 
whether individual or corporate, conflict, and only 
submission or trial of strength can decide which 
is superior. The force of a command from the 
State is not, therefore, bound to triumph, and no 
theory is of value which would make it so. When 
Germany orders its subjects to refrain from the 



SOVEREIGNTY AND FEDERALISM 271 

discussion of peace terms it may enforce its rule 
when only Rosa Luxemburg or Liebknecht is con- 
cerned; it could not do so were the Socialists as 
a whole to rebel. 

Aside from the historical accident which has 
given the constituent States of the American 
federation a certain sovereignty, at any rate in 
well-defined spheres, it may well be argued that 
Hamilton and his coadjutors would have had 
theoretical justification even if they had not had 
history to guide them in their determination of 
the division of constitutional powers. That divi- 
sion is more consonant with political facts than 
the unitary theory so favoured by the majority 
of European observers. Certain local groups have 
a life of their own that is not merely delegated to 
them by the State. They are capable of directing 
their own concerns. Their interest in themselves 
is revivified and inspired by the responsibility for 
such direction. When New York wants a new 
Constitution it can apply itself to that manu- 
facture. When Australia needs one, or Canada, 
they must be made the phrase is sinister in 
Whitehall. The history of Lord Grey's experi- 
ments in the direction of colonial self-government 
makes clear the utter inadequacy of the latter 
method. If Wisconsin wants an income tax it can 
obtain one by winning the assent of its citizens. 
If Manchester wants a ship canal it must persuade 
Parliament that its needs are more important than 
the jealousies of Liverpool. There is no more 



272 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

tragic history than that which comes under the 
rubric 'the decline and fall of the parish.' 

Lawyers, for the most part, have tended to 
believe that the status of a person is something it 
is in the power of the State alone to confer, and in 
this view Austin, doubtless, would have most fully 
concurred. But surely it is abundantly clear that 
the personality of associations is primary, that it 
springs from the fact of their existence, and is not 
conceded to them by the State. This concession 
theory has, it is true, the authority of great men 
like Savigny behind it. It was urged, in effect by 
that subtle lawyer Pope Innocent IV when he 
argued that the corporate person is sheer fiction. 
That claim, however, is becoming increasingly 
impossible of acceptance. Things, for example, 
like the Disruption in the Church of Scotland, or 
the failure of the Privy Council as the supreme 
ecclesiastical tribunal, show that in truth the 
churches live lives of their own, independent and 
self-contained, and that they will not tolerate 
external interference. The State, for good and 
special reasons, withheld corporateness from trade 
unions; but the Taff Vale decision showed how 
real was its existence in despite of statute. The 
failure of the Sherman Act may be traced to a 
similar cause. You can not make men compete by 
Act of Congress. They have wills of their own 
that the statute does not form. Everywhere we 
have diversity, plurality. It seems indeed time to 
admit its existence. 



SOVEREIGNTY AND FEDERALISM 273 

It is really difficult to understand what special 
merit attaches to unity. Germany points proudly 
to the complete absence of differences among her 
citizens. Contempt is openly expressed for a 
country like the United States where diversity of 
opinion is most clearly apparent. In Germany, 
it is moral error to doubt the Tightness of her cause. 
It is certainly dangerous to resist the sovereign 
mandate to sacrifice all to her need. Yet there is 
clearly grave danger in her attitude. "The man, 7 
Lord Acton wrote, 'who prefers his country before 
every other shows the same spirit as the man who 
surrenders every right to the State. They both 
deny that right is superior to authority.' 

In fact, there is real moral insufficiency in any 
theory of the State which impresses upon its 
members the need for any consistent uniformity 
of outlook. The fact that no one in Germany 
doubts her Tightness in sinking, for example, the 
Lusitania, does not morally, or even politically, 
justify her position in that regard. It is simply 
evidence that in Germany to-day necessity has 
exacted the sacrifice of right to authority. Faith 
there is more urgent than thought. We prefer a 
country where the sovereignty is distributed, 
where the richness of the corporate lives is insur- 
ance against such sterility of outlook. The 
Austinian theory of sovereignty, ungenial enough 
even in its abstract presentation, would as a fact 
breed simple servility were it capable of practical 
application. There can be no servility in a State 



274 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

that divides its effective governance. The neces- 
sity of balancing interests, the need for combining 
opinions, results in a wealth of political thought 
such as no State where the real authority is single 
can attain. The price of liberty is exactly diver- 
gence of opinion on fundamental questions. The 
well-ordered and neatly arranged products of 
recent German thought on politics testify to the 
existence of its opposite. No man, and even more, 
no State, can ever be so right as not to need doubts 
of his rightness. 

It is probable that even the most extreme sup- 
porters of parliamentary authority would sym- 
pathise with this view. Certainly Professor Dicey 
adopted it when he gave his adhesion to the Ulster 
cause. For he thereby announced his willingness 
to resist the authority he had declared omnipotent, 
and he would surely not resist unless he had some 
hope of success. If the truth of this attitude be 
admitted, if the State be viewed, in brief, as some- 
thing more than a delegator of powers, we begin 
to approach an organisation that in essence is not 
distinct from a federation even if in name it be 
different. We begin to see the State as akin to 
that medieval empire which was above all a 
community of communities. The sovereign ap- 
pears as a thing consistently to revere rather than 
as a thing undeviatingly to obey. It expresses a 
unity of feeling, not a unity of opinion the feel- 
ing that, as Aristotle pointed out long ago, the 
object of the State is the good life ; while it implies 



SOVEREIGNTY AND FEDERALISM 275 

a diversity of opinion as to the means by which 
that good life may be attained. Federal govern- 
ment may be weak government, but it is weak only 
as other governments are weak that is, in the 
degree to which it commits acts of trespass. 
Parliamentary government has only remained 
strong, has only retained the appearance of omni- 
competence, by reason of the delicate skill with 
which its footsteps have been directed. 

A last word may be hazarded. One who comes 
to America from Europe may well crave leave to 
doubt whether, fundamentally, there is truth in 
the judgment that federalism is conservative. The 
forms, it is true, may be preserved, may even seem 
to be revered as sacred things, but the spirit glows 
with a life that is ever new and abundant. The 
one thing that must strike the modern observer of 
any federal Constitution is the growing impatience 
with its rigid encasement, the ever insistent 
demand that the form shall be made equally 
elastic with the spirit. And in the variety of its 
group life, the wide distribution of its sovereign 
powers, he may not unjustly see the surest 
guarantee of its perennial youth. 



APPENDIX B 
SOVEREIGNTY AND CENTRALISATION 

IT can never be too thoroughly emphasised that 
the founders of the American Constitution did 
not intend to create a complete system of govern- 
ment. They took the States for granted, and it 
was upon their complex foundation that they 
attempted to build. What they attempted was 
essentially its supplement, the binding together 
of certain strands which the withdrawal of British 
sovereignty had grievously untied. Yet, as the 
event was to show, it was no easy matter to achieve 
a working efficiency for the new instrument of 
sovereign power. If we can say to-day that the 
interests of the American nation are supreme, and 
that the old States' rights theory of sovereignty is 
largely obsolete, we have to remember that a Civil 
War was needed to give it its death-blow. For the 
Constitution was doubtfully imposed and regret- 
fully accepted. Men found it difficult to under- 
stand that two jurisdictions largely co-ordinate 
can work towards a similar end. They imagined 
that co-ordination meant antithesis, and drew a 
distinction between State and nation. Antagonism 
not unnaturally resulted; for where men believe 
there is enmity, its appearance may with certainty 



278 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

be predicted. In the result we may utter our 
requiescat over the grave of localism. 

Nationalism, then, is triumphant. The natural 
question any statute must now raise is not whether 
Missouri or Alabama will benefit from its enact- 
ment, but whether the United States will so benefit. 
But there is another aspect of this unified sover- 
eignty about which certain doubts may be ex- 
pressed. It stands for centralisation; that is to 
say, it changes the whole character of the federal 
idea. It may be, indeed, that this centralisation 
is essential to the future of the United States. It 
may be that until the power of the latter under- 
goes a further concentration, it can never ade- 
quately be exercised. The interests of the whole 
may so uniquely transcend the interests of the 
parts as to give their separate claims little or no 
validity. Yet even an observer handicapped, as 
I am, by an alien tradition, can not help but 
realise that there is in America a certain funda- 
mental disunity of circumstance. When I am in 
Kansas, I know that I am not in New York. The 
problems, even the thoughts and the desires, are 
different and affect people differently. Is it wise 
to make Washington a kind of Hegelian harmoni- 
sation of these differences and say that Congress 
can transcend them in a federal statute? In the 
result, as every statesman must know, what are 
called the ' interests of the Republic' in New York 
will probably be called i discrimination against the 
Middle West' in Kansas. And that is intelligible, 



SOVEREIGNTY AND CENTRALISATION 279 

even if it is rarely praiseworthy. For while action 
in Kansas would have attempted to cope with the 
difficulties of the Middle West, action at Wash- 
ington aims since a balance of interests must be 
struck at their genial evasion. Surely this sug- 
gests the existence of a problem which has aroused 
less attention than it deserves. 

The growth of national government, with the 
consequent strengthening of its sovereign char- 
acter, leads, as I have urged, to its increasing 
centralisation. This is true not of America alone. 
The whole history of England, Maitland once 
remarked, could be brought under the rubric of 
the decline and fall of the sheriff. One of the 
resultant and fundamental problems Great Britain 
will have to face when its reconstruction comes is 
precisely this. Its local life will have to be made 
real. It will undergo revivification. Its units of 
local government will have to be made real. They 
will have to receive a sovereignty that is some- 
thing more than an anaemic reflex of the central 
power. An interest in local problems will have to 
be aroused not less keen and vivid than the interest 
in national problems. Nor is this less true of 
France. Her local group-life has been sacrificed 
to the absorptiveness of Paris; with the result 
that since the fall of Napoleon, France has been 
striving to regain the local creativeness now 
stricken with impotence. The vigorous self- 
government of the modern German city derives 
from the at any rate partial admission by higher 



280 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

authority that its powers, to be responsible, must 
be complete. It was there remembered, as in 
England and France it has been forgotten, that 
the tissue of the civic parts changes more fre- 
quently than the tissue of the national whole. 
Since in the latter countries an adequate nutrition 
of final responsibility was not provided, the result 
has been in a real sense death from starvation. 

I know well enough that nothing like this stage 
has been reached in the United States. Yet the 
difficulty is ominously near. No kind of working 
compromise has been reached between the States 
on the one hand, and the federal government on the 
other. Each has gone its own way, often almost 
wilfully duplicating the work of the other. The 
State, it is assumed, must do what the federal 
government has not done ; the federal government 
merely acts as the bracket to a series of algebraic 
symbols. The possibility of a co-operation is not 
considered. The lines of demarcation are never 
made plain. It is never adequately realised that 
both are overcrowded with business, that they can 
not, with all the good will in the world, waste an 
ounce of energy in this complex age. Congress, 
of a certainty, can not give proper attention to 
local problems. It is, moreover, all the more 
difficult to obtain a rapprochement with a Consti- 
tution uniquely inaccessible to amendment. It 
may be admitted frankly that the centralisation 
of the modern federal government has won some 
tremendous victories. An Englishman needs no 



SOVEREIGNTY AND CENTRALISATION 281 

convincing that the victory won in 1865 for union, 
and, implicitly, for centralisation, was a victory 
for the beneficent forces of the civilised world. 
He may well stand amazed at the quality no less 
than the volume of work performed by such 
centralising agencies as the Interstate Commerce 
Commission. He has no doubts as to the past. 
It is about the future that he must feel uncertain. 

For there are many able thinkers in the United 
States who are convinced that where national 
thought is, generally speaking, superior in quality 
to State thought, where it is temporally in advance, 
national, that is to say centralised action should 
follow. The sovereign, in fact, should show his 
powers of self-assertion. Where he is in posses- 
sion of a progressive idea which fails to obtain 
sanction in a backward state, then he should use 
his reserve power in compensation for its reac- 
tionary character. It is, of course, easy to sneer 
at people who cling to the ideas of the mid- 
Victorian age. It is easier still to remember that 
there is outside the State government a federal 
power which pays no heed to regional opinion. 
State government and State opinion must, so the 
reformer urges, be overridden if progress is to be 
made. 

A typical instance is that of prohibition. Re- 
formers in Maine do not see why they should 
suffer for the stupid inability of New York to 
control its liquor traffic. Congress, they say, 
should legislate for the nation, and prevent either 



282 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

the enactment of anomalies, or the retention of so 
pathetic an ancestralism as a taste for beer. Now 
I waive the whole question of whether Maine does 
in fact benefit from its more acute perception; 
reputable authority assures me that the contrary 
is the case. But the real question to which I want 
an adequate reply more convincing than rhetori- 
cal statements of the case for prohibition is 
whether America will not gain more from the slow 
self-struggle of New York to intelligence, than 
from the irritating imposition from without of a 
belief to which it has not been converted. I can 
not avoid the emphatic opinion that in this, as in 
other matters, nature is not saltatory. Politically 
we probably gain more from the slow, and often 
painful erosion of prejudice by education, than 
when we attempt its elimination by more drastic 
methods. It is, of course, annoying forHhose of 
us who consider we have found the truth; but if 
we are to have* democratic government we must 
bear with the inconveniences of democracy. 

The traditional separation of powers in Ameri- 
can government has been assailed as often as it 
has been explained. Yet I believe it is in fact a 
natural division. Of course to lawyers like Pro- 
fessor Dicey, federalism of any kind appears but 
a step on the road to centralised government; it 
is, in his own phrase, the union which precedes 
unification. I am a frank medievalist in this 
regard. It seems to me admirable that a country 
which, in certain aspects, is one, should yet adapt 



SOVEREIGNTY AND CENTRALISATION 283 

its governance to suit the severalty which is no 
less characteristic of other aspects. In a democ- 
racy, the surest guaranty of civic responsibility 
seems to lie in the gift of genuine functions of 
government no less to the parts than to the whole. 
No doubt, on occasion, the dissipation of sover- 
eignty will result in conflict. But even without it 
there is conflict of a kind far more wasteful, since 
it in nowise depends upon principle. And anyone 
who reads the reports of the United States 
Supreme Court for the last twenty-five years will 
realise that the national powers have not been 
extended without opposition and that Washington 
has not always been victorious. What seems to 
me dangerous is that the expansion no less than 
the contraction of the central power should always 
have been planless and unthinking. It has de- 
pended always witness the recent embarkation 
upon the governmental regulation of railway 
wages upon the haphazard accidents of momen- 
tary events, instead' of upon a scheme of considered 
and inherent policy. It has grown without thought 
of local needs or of local personality. Had the 
sovereign federation given respectful recognition 
to those other sovereigns, no less real, which we 
call the States, there would have resulted no less 
an impulse to creation than an economy of effort. 
It is the fashion to regard federalism as the 
merest pis oiler and to hope piously for the time 
when a more adequate centralisation will render 
it unnecessary. This seems to me to neglect certain 



284 PROBLEM OF SOVEREIGNTY 

obvious lessons to be drawn from other experience. 
In education, for example, we have learned that 
the more pupils per teacher, the less efficient, on 
the whole, is the instruction. Commercially, Mr. 
Brandeis has shown that certain business units 
may become so large as to be physically incapable 
of successful administration. I would urge that 
a similar law of diminishing returns applies also 
to the sphere of government. It becomes more 
and more obvious that we must recognise certain 
natural units of political administration, but also 
see to it that we do not duplicate that power. It 
is admitted freely that the result will probably 
derogate from the unique sovereignty of the whole. 
Yet that is surely but a theoretical derogation 
from which no practical consequences ensue; and 
J am pragmatist enough to contend that it is there- 
fore no derogation at all. 

I can imagine no more fruitful political thinking 
than that which should attempt to read for our 
own day the due lesson of the failure of certain 
emperors who, because they took the whole world 
for their field of vision, gave Voltaire the material 
for the most admirable of his gibes. We seem in 
genuine danger of going back to an ancient and 
false worship of unity, to a trust in an undivided 
sovereignty as the panacea for our ills. Surely the 
vitality of political life depends rather on the 
conference of final responsibility where there is 
the willingness to assume it and the capacity to 
assume it wisely. Only thus can we prevent 



SOVEREIGNTY AND CENTRALISATION 285 

Washington from degenerating into Dublin 
Castle. In the end, maybe, the ways of attainment 
will be as difficult as the objects at which they 
aim ; but the good of the universe is manifold and 
not single. We are as travellers breasting a hill, 
and we reach its summit by a thousand devious 
paths. 1 

i Cf . Mr. Croly's remarks in the New Republic, Vol. IX, p. 170, and 
the brilliant paper of M. Duguit in the Revue d' Economic Politique? 
1894, p. 38. Mr. Barker in his Political Thought from Spencer to Today, 
pp. 180-182, has noted the modern attitude to this problem. See also 
Mr. H. A. L. Fisher's classic lecture on Political Unions. 



INDEX 



INDEX 



Acton (Lord), on continuity of 
political thought, 64; on the 
authority of the State, 121; his 
theory of liberty, 168 f.; his 
dislike of W. G. Ward's atti- 
tude, 171; condemns the Ultra- 
montanes, 172; journalistic ex- 
perience, 173; his view of the 
Catholic situation in England, 
174; on papal infallibility, 180; 
corrects Mr. Gladstone's history, 
191. 

Allies (T. W.), attacks royal 
supremacy, 105. 

American constitution, sanctity of, 
22; based on foundation of 
States, 277. 

American Law, contribution of to 
theory of Church and State, 119. 

Antonelli (Cardinal), attains 
power, 164-5; urged to withhold 
syllabus, 178; refuses assist- 
ance to Bismarck, 246 ; supports 
the German centre, 251-2. 

Aquinas (S. Thomas), his attitude 
to unity, 2. 

Aristotle, his theory of the State 
pragmatist, 18. 

Arnold (T.), his theory of a gen- 
eralised Christianity, 71; differ- 
ence between him and the Trac- 
tarians, 76; his argument 
against the admission of Jews 
to Parliament, 89. 

Auchterarder case, 35. 



Austin (J.), sponsors an omni- 
competent State, 68. 



Baddeley (Serjeant), asks for 
mandamus against Hampden 's 
appointment, 99. 

Barclay (W.), connection of his 
theory with that of Chalmers, 
65. 

Baumgarten, quoted, 260. 

Bell (T.), his theory of Church 
powers, 46. 

Bellarmine (Cardinal), his feder- 
alism, 65. 

Bennett (W. J. E.), attacks royal 
supremacy, 104. 

Bennigsen, quoted, 254. 

Bentham (J.), desires dissolution 
of English Church, 69. 

Birmingham (Bishop of), limits 
sovereignty of State to temporal 
affairs, 112. 

Bishops (Catholic), on duty of 
obedience, 130. 

Bismarck (O. von), reasons for 
kulturkampf, 8; his failure, 29; 
difference from De Maistre, 
212; his religious views, 239- 
40; his theory of State, 240 f.; 
lacks sense of institutions, ibid.; 
makes State divine, 242 f . ; his 
antipathy for Eome, 243 f . ; 
source of his struggle with 
Eome, 245; his troubles with 
Poland, 246; nervous about em- 



290 



INDEX 



pire, ibid.; friendship for Italy, 
249; attacks the Poles, 250; 
pressure on Home, 251; attacks 
centre, 252; on Church and 
State, 253 f.; on Polish prob- 
lem, 255-6; Falk Laws, 257; 
allies himself with national 
liberals, 259; makes peace with 
Eome, 260; learns lesson of 
Canossa, 261 f . ; relation to De 
Maistre, 2631 

Bluntschli, quoted, 247. 

Boniface VIII, his claims for 
Church, 2, 28, 50. 

Book of Discipline, struggle over, 
29-30. 

Bowyer (Sir G.), on Wiseman pas- 
toral, 151-2. 

Bradley (F. H.), on pluralism as 
destruction of unity, 1; on pain, 
7. 

Bramhall (Bishop), attack on 
Presbyterianism, 49. 

Brandeis (L. D.), quoted, 284. 

Bright (J.), attacks religious atti- 
tude of Eussell, 152-3. 

Brougham (Lord), connection with 
Judicial Committee, 81; attacks 
privilege of Church, 89. 

Bruce (A.), attitude to Presbyte- 
rian claims, 37. 

Bryce (Viscount), quoted, 3. 

Burke, argues for Catholic eman- 
cipation, 122. 

Bull of Pius V, a cause of Catho- 
lic persecution, 138. 

Burleigh (Lord Balfour of), 
quoted, 43. 

Buchanan (R.), distinguishes 
Church and State, 47, 56. 

Butler (Charles), view of papal 
power, 128-9, 131; his Gallican 
tendencies, 133. 



C 

Camoys (Lord), on Vaticanism, 
191. 

Canning (G.), advocates Catholic 
emancipation, 125-6 ; inserts 
oath in Grattan's bill, 130. 

Capel (Monsignor), answers Mr. 
Gladstone, 194; his explanation 
of Vaticanism, 198-9; weakness 
of, 199-200. 

Carlyle (A.), quoted, 162. 

Cavour (Count), his ecclesiastical 
ideal, 164; destroys political 
foundations of Church, 211. 

Catholic revival, place in the 19th 
century, 211. 

Cecil (Lord Hugh), theory of 
Church and State, 110. 

Centre party (German), character 
of, 248 f . 

Chalmers (T.), accepts leadership 
of Free Church, 29; his theory 
of Church and State, 38-41 ; dif- 
ference between Scottish and 
English establishments, 42-3. 

Chesterton (G. K.), on logic, 23. 

Church (E. W.), his account of 
the reception of Tract 90, 79; 
his theory of the Church, 87; 
thinks Church could depose 
kings, 93 ; his view of Hampden, 
97; attacks Hampden 's appoint- 
ment as bishop, 98; protests 
against attitude to ritualists, 
110. 

Cicero, on secret of Roman success, 
216. 

Civil war (American), effect on 
theory of States' rights, 277. 

Claim of Right summarised, 44, 
48. 

Clerk (Sir G.), theory of Church 
claims, 47. 



INDEX 



291 



Cockburn (Lord), judgment in 

Auchterarder case, 53. 
Coleridge (S. T.), quoted, 22. 
Combes (E.), on separation of 

Church and State, 8. 
Congress, power of, limited, 267. 
Cook (Dr.), theory of Church and 

State, 57-8. 

D 

Dante, his worship of unity, 1, 164. 

Darwin (C.), destroys basis of old 
dogmas, 211. 

Daubeny, foreshadows an Angli- 
can revival, 70. 

Dewey (J.), quoted, 20, 23. 

Dicey (A. V.), his limitation on 
theory of Parliamentary sover- 
eignty, 151; on consequences of 
Federalism, 267 f . ; criticism of, 
268-9; contradictory views of, 
274; views Federalism as a step 
to unified government, 282. 

Disruption, origin of, 34 f . 

Dodsworth (W.), reasons for con- 
version to Borne, 107. 

Dollinger (J. von), effect of his 
' Pope and Council, ' 181 ; ex- 
communicated, 183; renews his 
acquaintance with Mr. Glad- 
stone, 184. 

Doyle (Bishop), on papal in- 
fluence, 130; his casuistry, 136. 

Drummond (H.), view on position 
of English Church, 103. 

E 

Exeter (Bishop of), distinguishes 
between moral and legal sover- 
eignty of Parliament, 111. 



F 

Faguet (E.), quoted, 213, 224. 
Faithfull (J.), identifies Church 

and State, 88-9. 

Federalism, is weak and conser- 
vative, 268; value of, 270 f.; 

spirit of, 275; regarded as a 

pis oiler, 283. 

Figgis (J. N.), quoted, 27, 49, 208. 
France, attitude to congregations, 

63, 67; failure of centralisation 

in, 279. 

Froude (J. A.), quoted, 87. 
Froude (E. H.), hates Erastian- 

ism, 74; compared to W. G. 

Ward, 79; nature of his mind, 

139. 
Fuller ton (Lord), dictum in 

Court of Session, 56. 

G 

Germany, attitude to State-neces- 
sity in, 22; success of local self- 
government, 279. 

Gerson, opposes Ultramontanism, 
28. 

Gierke (O. von), quoted, 5. 

Gillies (Lord), denies possibility 
of contract between Church and 
State, 52-3. 

Gladstone (W. E.), on Vatican 
Council, 7; on Newman's con- 
version, 80; on Gorham decision, 
81, 101 ; on Ecclesiastical Titles 
Act, 153; repeals it, 155; visit 
to Dollinger, 184; attack on 
Syllabus, 185; on meaning of 
papal infallibility, 186; his de- 
ductions from it, 187f.; their 
fallacies, 189 f. 

Golightly (Bev. W.), urges New- 
man to attack established 
church, 95. 



292 



INDEX 



Gonsalvi (Cardinal), visits Eng- 
land, 134. 

Gorham (G.), connection with Ox- 
ford Movement, 81. 

Graham (Sir J.), repudiates Pres- 
byterian claims, 37, 58 f . ; his 
theory of Church property, 76. 

Grattan (H.), persistent advocacy 
of Catholic cause, 122. 

Gray (J. C.), quoted, 17. 

Great Britain, right in American 
War of Independence on monis- 
tic theory of State, 23; failure 
of centralisation in, 279. 

Gregory VII, his theory of Church 
and State, 2, 28, 50. 

Greville (Charles), expects reform 
of English Church, 71. 

Grey (Lord), reforms Irish 
Church, 72; warns English 
Church, 88. 

Groups, separate life of, 271; per- 
sonality of primary, 272; differ- 
ences of valuable, 273. 

H 

Hallam (A.), on performance of 
'King John,' 134. 

Hampden (Bishop), appointed 
Eegius Professor of Divinity, 
77; revenge for criticism, 79; 
appointed a bishop, 80; repre- 
sents broadest latitudinarian- 
ism, 97. 

Harcourt (Sir W.), his Erastian- 
ism, 112. 

Harrison (F.), on nature of alle- 
giance, 200. 

Hegel (G. W. F.), dominance of 
his philosophy, 6; his omni- 
competent state, 67. 



Henry VIII, his imperialism, 2; 
his thirst for power, 138. 

Hickes (Bishop), on non-resist- 
ance, 2. 

Hobbes (T.), hatred of corpora- 
tions, 8; of dissension, 25; on 
Papacy, 137. 

Hobhouse (J. C.), his theory of 
Church property, 77. 

Hohenlohe (Prince), against papal 
infallibility, 181; suspects Bis- 
marck of alliance with Jesuits, 
245. 

Horsley (Bishop), his protest 
against Erastianism, 85. 

Hume (D.), on public opinion, 
163. 

Hume (J.), theory of Church as 
civil institution, 89-90. 



Inglis (Sir E. H.), the pattern of 
High Churchmen, 75. 

Innes (A. Taylor), answers Man- 
ning, 50. 

Interstate Commerce Commission, 
value of, 281. 



Jacobites, hate Presbyterianism, 
33. 

James (W.), quoted, 1. 

Jeffrey (Lord), judgment in 
Auchterarder case, 62 f . 

Jesuits, their theory like that of 
Chalmers, 65-6; revived power 
of, 164-5; may not enter Eng- 
land, 135; uphold papal infalli- 
bility, 177; enthusiasm for the 
dogma, 180; influence in Poland, 
246. 



INDEX 



293 



K 

Keble (J.), h* 8 Assize Sermon, 73; 
unites with Newman, 74; stays 
in Anglican Church, 80; on 
Church's right to reform itself, 
86; attack on Gorham judg- 
ment, 103. 

Kinnoull (Lord), relation to Dis- 
ruption, 35 f ., 63. 

Knox (J.), hi g conception of 
Church power, 30; result of his 
nationalism, 37; desires to 
found a theocracy, 49. 

Korkunov (N. M.), quoted, 16. 



Lamartine (A.), quoted, 232. 

Law, nature of, 13; sanctions of, 
14. 

Lecky (W. H.), on extent of 
Eomeward movement, 141. 

Leslie (Charles), attacks Presby- 
terianism, 49. 

Liebknecht (K.), different view 
of State from Kaiser, 21. 

Lisle (A. de), on dangers of Vati- 
canism, 193. 

Liverpool (Lord), theory of Eng- 
lish government, 124. 

Llandaff (Bishop of), opposes 
Catholic emancipation, 124. 

Lloyd (Bishop), complains of im- 
potence of Church, 90. 

Lolme (J. de), quoted, 267. 

Lotze (H.), argues that pluralism 
means impenetrability, 6. 

Louis XVT, pays penalty for er- 
rors of his predecessors, 14. 

Luther, his thought related to that 
of Disruption, 65; his Erastian- 
ism, 66. 



M 

Macaulay (Lord), quoted, 33, 51. 

Mackenzie (Lord), opinion in 
Auchterarder case, 53. 

McGill (Professor), quoted, 41. 

Mackonochie (Father), pleads for 
free church, 109. 

Maistre (J. de), character, 211; 
seeming difference from Bis- 
marck, 212; thought of, 213; 
desires a reconstruction of so- 
ciety, 214; theory of State, 215; 
value of political mysticism, 
216; necessity of authority, 217; 
opposes variations, 219; hatred 
of Protestantism, 220-1; criti- 
cism of his attitude, 222-4; de- 
fence of papalism, 225 f . ; of 
despotism, 227 f . ; value of 
Papacy, 229 f.; his theory of 
schism, 230; attacks 18th cen- 
tury, 231; examination of his 
doctrines, 232 f. ; author of 
modern Ultramontanism, 238 ; 
comparison with Bismarck, 
263 f. 

Maitland (F. W.), quoted, 4, 279. 

Manning (Cardinal H. E.), erro- 
neous view of Presbyterianism, 
50; conversion to Eome, 82; 
on royal supremacy, 102; on 
corporate completeness of Eng- 
lish Church, 105; view of Mr. 
Gladstone's compromise, 106; 
on English Eeformation, 107; 
belief in intellectual captivity, 
173; efforts for papal infalli- 
bility, 180; answer to Mr. Glad- 
stone, 190; on Vaticanism, 
194 f . ; weakness of his argu- 
ments, 196-7. 

Marvell (A.), on pushpin theology, 
123. 



294 



INDEX 



Maskell (W.), attitude in Gorham 
ease, 102. 

Maule (F.), defends Presbyterian 
Church, 48. 

Meadowbank (Lord), theory of 
Church and State, 54. 

Medwyn (Lord), theory of Church 
and State, 61. 

Melville (A.), theory of two 
kingdoms, 49. 

Mill (James), his plan of Church 
reform, 71. 

Milner, sign of revived religious 
feeling in Anglican Church, 70. 

Milner (Bishop), opposes oaths of 
allegiance, 131-3; is firm Ultra- 
montane, 134. 

Mohler, influence of his 'Sym- 
bolik,' 140; helps Eoman Catho- 
lics in England, 156. 

Moncrieff (Lord), opposes lay 
patronage, 35; denies the deri- 
vation of Church from State, 
42. 

Montalembert, his reputation, 139; 
on 'Church and State,' 178. 

Morley (Lord), quoted, 80, 86, 
153. 

N 

Nationalism, dominant political 
theory in America, 278. 

National education, justification 
for, 18. 

Neale (J. M.), attacks Gorham 
judgment, 104. 

Newman (J. H.), attack on Par- 
liamentary sovereignty, 13 ; his 
anger against the Liberals, 73; 
compelled to resist State, ibid,; 
forms association of friends of 
the Church, 74; notes beginning 
of Eoman problem, 79; is con- 
verted to Eome, 80; his hatred 



of Jerusalem archbishopric, 90- 
1; feels that State has deserted 
Church, 96; reproach against 
Church as merely an establish- 
ment, 109; comparison with 
Chalmers, 113 f . ; was fighting 
a medieval battle, 115-6; his 
sense of the reality of corporate 
personality, 117; influence of 
his visit to Eome, 140; on 
nature of Church and State, 
155 f . ; historical relation of his 
theory to that of the early 
church, 160-1; his attitude 
marks the end of the anti-Hilde- 
brandine reaction, 163; his im- 
plicit liberalism, 174; wavering 
views of, 175; hatred of extreme 
Ultramontanism, 175-6; mini- 
mises the Syllabus, 178-9; fears 
of papal infallibility, 181-2; re- 
ply to Mr. Gladstone, 201 f.; 
theory of sovereignty, 203 f . ; 
on importance of conscience, 
205; discussion of his view, 206- 
7. 

North British Eeview, quoted, 51. 

Norwich (Bishop of), on divided 
allegiance of Catholics, 123. 



Oakeley (Canon), defends Vati- 
canism, 193. 

O'Connell (D.), on militant agita- 
tion, 123; repudiates claim of 
Pope to temporal allegiance, 
129; repudiates oaths, 131; on 
Catholic democracy, 140. 

O'Hanlon (Dr.), on nature of 
teaching at Maynooth, 129. 

Ossory (Bishop of), reason for 
opposing Catholic emancipation, 
124. 



INDEX 



295 



Palmer (Sir W.), joins Associa- 
tion of Friends of Church, 74; 
promotes address to Archbishop 
of Canterbury, 96. 

Palmieri, his attitude to sover- 
eignty, 65. 

Papacy, change in character after 
1846, 164. 

Parnell (Sir H.), sums up Catholic 
case, 122. 

' Parmenides, ' shows difficulty of 
problem of unity, 3. 

Patronage (lay) abolished, 31; 
restored, 33; relation to Church 
freedom, 35. 

Peel (Sir R.), opposes Catholic 
emancipation, 8 ; repudiates 
Presbyterian claims, 37; on es- 
tablished churches, 58; on 
Church property, 77. 

Petre (Henry), on Vaticanism, 
191. 

Philpotts (Bishop) and Gorham 
case, 81; protests against 
Church Discipline Bill, 100; re- 
nounces communion with Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, 102. 

Pius IX, abandons liberalism, 
164; imprisons Madeai, 165; 
promulgates dogma of Immacu- 
late conception, ibid.; issues 
Encyclical Quanta Cura and 
Syllabus, 177; summons General 
Council, 179; futility of his 
claims, 190. 

Plunkett (Lord), advocates Catho- 
lic emancipation, 125, 132; on 
constitutional principles, 136 ; 
quoted, 137. 

Pound (Eoscoe), on need for 
pragmatic theory of law, 64. 



Privy Council, failure of as Church 
tribunal, 13. 

Pusey (E. B.), suspended from 
preaching in Oxford, 79; stays 
in Anglican Church, 80; view of 
Hampden 's appointment, 99 ; 
of Gorham case, 101; on eccle- 
siastical authority, 102. 

Q 

Queen Victoria, resents Wiseman's 
Pastoral, 163. 

R 

Eeformation, character of, 27. 

Eeilly (F.), on Vaticanism, 192. 

Religious toleration, justification 
for, 18. 

Richard II, on source of law, 2. 

Rickards (H.), on need of Church 
freedom, 96. 

Right, a term with double impli- 
cation, 20. 

Roebuck (J.), answers Russell on 
hierarchy, 149; on danger of 
intolerance, 152. 

Roman law, influence of its revived 
study, 162. 

Rome, fear of in England, 138. 

Rose (H. J.), edits British Maga- 
zine, 74. 

Rosmini, failure of, 164; con- 
demned, 165. 

Rossi (Count), murdered, 164. 

Rousseau, value of his termi- 
nology, 8, 13. 

Rutherford (T.), argument to 
Court of Session, 45-6. 

Rutherford, on nature of Church, 
45. 

Russell (Lord J.), proposes to con- 
fiscate Church funds, 72; on 



296 



INDEX 



Church as national institution, 
76 ; makes Hampden a bishop, 
80; sends envoy to Kome, 145; 
his Durham letter, 146; his in- 
tolerance, 147. 

S 

Schlegel (F.), converted to Eome, 
69; his reputation, 139. 

Schneegans (F.), quoted, 248. 

Schrader (Father), view on Im- 
maculate Conception, 281. 

Session (Court of), its theory of 
Church and State, 36. 

Simeon (C.), as factor in Angli- 
can revival, 70. 

Smith (Sidney), refutes case 
against Catholic Emancipation, 
126 f. 

South African War, as patriotic 
test of morality, 22. 

South Wales Miners, disobey Act 
of Parliament, 12, 19. 

Spain, its attack on Netherlands 
justified on monist theory of 
State, 23. 

States, desire to override their 
opinion in America, 281. 

Stuarts, fallacy of their theory of 
divine right, 2. 

Suffragists, oppose State, 12. 

Supreme Court of TJ. S., its 
limited power, 217. 

T 

Tablet, quoted, 51. 

Talbot (G. J.), attacks Privy 
Council as Church tribunal, 154. 

Tarquini, his theory of sover- 
eignty, 65. 

Thirl wall (C.), on Vaticanism, 
193. 



Tocqueville (A. de), on importance 
of England for religious free- 
dom, 154. 

Tractarianism, relation to roman- 
tic movement, 69. 

Tracts for the Times, their theory, 
83 f.; plead for Church free- 
dom, 94 f . ; their living charac- 
ter, 108. 

Treitschke (H. von), popularity, 
6; quoted, 248, 250; his theory 
of the State, 262. 

Tudors, found a despotism on 
popular consent, 2. 

U 

Ulster Unionists, attitude to State, 

12. 
Union (act of), relation to Church, 

32. 



Vicars, apostolic, declare their 

loyalty to crown, 128. 
Voltaire, on Holy Eoman empire, 

284. 

W 

Wade (J.), author of 'Black 
Book,' 69. 

Wallas (G.), quoted, 14, 19. 

Ward (W.), on Wiseman's in- 
fluence, 140. 

Ward (W. G.), joins Oxford 
Movement, 79; converted to 
Eome, 80; love of papal bulls, 
165; his ideal of European 
organisation, 167; puzzled by 
Newman, 176; accepts Syllabus 
as infallible, 179; on value of 
theocracy, 193. 



INDEX 



297 



Welsh (Dr.), action at General 
Assembly of 1843, 29. 

Whately (Archbishop), influence 
on Newman, 85. 

Whitgift (Archbishop), attitude 
to Presbyterianism, 65 f . 

Wilberforce (S.), quoted, 88. 

Wilberforce (W.), part in Angli- 
can revival, 70. 

William II (of Germany), differ- 
ent view of State from Lieb- 
knecht, 21. 

Wiseman (Cardinal N.), arrives 



on mission to England, 78; his 
social ability, 139; becomes 
leader of English Catholics, 
140 ; plans hierarchy, 141 ; at- 
tacked for his pastoral, 143 f . ; 
his reply, 145 f . 

Worcester (Bishop of), opposes 
Catholic emancipation, 123. 



Young (E.), presented to living 
of Auchterarder, 35 f., 63. 



JC 327 .L38 1917 SMC 
Laski, Harold Joseph, 
Studies in the problem of 
sovereignty 47086398